Why Can’t I Not Take Deep Breaths?

When you’re stressed out, you might feel light-headed or dizzy. You might also experience shortness of breath, a pounding heartbeat, nausea or stomach discomfort, tingly or numb fingers and toes, a fuzzy mind, difficulty thinking clearly or speaking coherently, and more.

Deep breathing is a key part of any stress-relief routine. It helps you get the oxygen your brain and other organs need, as well as relax your nervous system.

Your body reacts to situations that make you feel stressed by sending signals to your central nervous system to activate either the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous systems, according to neuroscientist David Rhoads of The University of California at Berkeley School of Medicine in San Francisco. Both of these systems are essential for regulating bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, digestion and more.

But while these systems are important for our physical well-being, they can also be harmful if they’re overactive or prolonged. For example, when we’re under a lot of stress, our bodies release a combination of hormones called adrenaline and cortisol that can raise blood pressure and reduce circulation throughout the body.

If your stress level is chronic or severe, you may need to talk to your GP to see what might be causing the symptoms. In the meantime, try some deep breathing techniques and meditation to lower your stress levels.

Breathing can help you manage your stress by slowing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure and improving your circulation. It can also relieve the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.

You can practice deep breathing on its own, or it can be incorporated into a mindfulness or meditation routine. Just take a few minutes each day to breathe deeply and focus on your breathing. It might be helpful to practice before eating or at a time of the day when you are calm and relaxed, such as after a shower.

Practicing deep breathing can also improve your posture by strengthening the muscles of the back and shoulders. This can make you more stable and less prone to injuries.

Another benefit of deep breathing is that it can help with digestion, which can be especially important for people who suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers or constipation.

In addition to the benefits outlined above, deep breathing can help you sleep better. Studies show that it can increase the quality and quantity of your sleep, as well as reduce anxiety and stress levels.

It also can improve your overall health, as it has been shown to help regulate the immune system, decrease inflammation and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

A number of different methods can help you incorporate deep breathing into your daily life, so don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about the best options for you. You can also find local groups or a breathing app that can help you get started on your deep breathing practice.

Ultimately, learning how to take deeper breaths is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety. But it can be difficult to master, so give it some time and experiment with different techniques to see which ones work best for you.