• 3 Steps to Calm and Anxious Brain – Step 2

    Heart Connection and Coherent Breathing

    The first is that our nervous systems respond to touch, warmth, and affectionate connection by releasing oxytocin, the hormone of safety and trust that is an immediate antidote to the fight-or-flight state. 

    The second is that our nervous systems respond to slow rhythmic breathing. Breathing techniques have been used for thousands of years to activate the parasympathetic system. One well-researched breathing technique that has been receiving a lot of attention is Coherent Breathing. 

    The Coherent Breathing technique is simply inhaling for 5 or 6 seconds and exhaling for 5 or 6 seconds. This works out to 5 – 6 breaths per minute, which research shows causes your heart rhythm pattern to be more ordered and harmonious. This more coherent pattern sends a signal to the brain to calm the fight-or-flight response and increase information flow throughout the brain, increasing our ability to think clearly. If you find these inhales and exhales too long, simply do whatever slow and rhythmic breathing is comfortable. The video below picks up where the Step 1 video ends. 

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