We’re often told “just take a deep breath” in moments of stress. Are there science-backed benefits to this, or is deep breathing just a pacifier for adults to stop our nervous rambling?
Find your pulse and take a sharp breath. Notice your pulse slightly heightening? Your heart is rushing blood to your lungs and pumping the remainder harder around your body. Gentle exhales slowly release that blood back into the body, activating your parasympathetic nerve system – aka your body’s “chill setting.”
Think of deep breathing as a massage for your nervous system; routine deep breathers have lowered cortisol levels.
– Chris Butsch, The Millennial’s Guide to Making Happiness