Have you ever come home at the end of a busy day, completely exhausted but utterly unable to relax? If so, the way you’re breathing could have a lot do to with why you just can’t seem to settle down no matter what you do.
Generally, there are two types of breathing: thoracic and abdominal. When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you tend to take short, shallow breathes that come directly from your chest (thoracic breathing). When you’re calm and collected, your breathing tends to be deeper and driven by your diaphragm (abdominal breathing). Both types of breathing have their purposes.
Thoracic breathing upsets the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, resulting in an increased heart rate, muscle tension, and other biological factors beneficial to your body’s fight-or-flight response. Abdominal breathing works the opposite way; instead of riling you up, it calms you down.
Unfortunately, when you live a busy, stressful life, it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of thoracic breathing – making it much more difficult to calm down even when you want to. Since breathing is an autonomic process, it isn’t always readily apparent which type of breathing you’re using, and you need to make a conscious evaluation.
My Soul Mat
Breathing techniques can help you de-stress in the moment, but to bring yourself down into a lasting state of calm, you may need to go a bit further. Practicing yoga will teach you valuable skills to help you calm down when you really need it. My Soul Mat helps by surrounding you with positive imagery such as with our I am Peace yoga mat. Imagery will further serve your goal. My Soul Mat is happy to offer our collection of colorful, stylistic yoga mats designed to increase mindfulness and put you in a peaceful mental and emotional state. Activate all your senses for a serene experience.