Can Breathing Alter Your Mood?

Amelia Phillips

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You know those times when you feel completely stressed and if your head was a kettle, steam would be whistling out of your ears? Or when a loved one is frustrating you so much you either need to scream or laugh. It has been documented that breathing can slow down or halt the hormone responses that cause such a stressful reaction.

Correct deep breathing will:

  • Increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, and body.
  • Stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to bring the body back to a resting state,lowering blood pressure, and heart rate.
  • Relax the muscles involved in shallow breathing that causes headaches and back issues

Steps to correct breathing
Place one hand on your stomach over your belly button. Take a deep breath in and as you do allow your stomach to expand as the air rushes deep into your lungs.
When you breath out, your stomach should draw in towards your spine, as your muscles squeeze the air out of your lungs. It’s like a bagpipe having the air squeezed out of it.
When you breathe in, observe your shoulders. They should stay perfectly still, no shrugging, lifting, rotating. The same goes for your upper chest. If those areas are moving, you are still breathing shallowly.

Closing your eyes and taking ten super slow, deep breaths does wonders to alter your mood. Try it in when you feel stressed, when you are about to go to sleep or after a big meal. Try it right now. Do you feel different after ten deep breaths?

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7 responses to “Can Breathing Alter Your Mood?”

  1. Tom Parker says:

    Thanks for the great post Amelia. I think all of us experience times during the day when we need to take a few moments, relax and control our breathing. It’s only a little thing but it really does help

  2. uriel says:

    You know what on the time I am reading this I do what you post regarding breathing. it actually help me a lot on the stress I have now.

  3. Amelia Burton says:

    Hi Tom,

    Absolutely! Your entire physiology changes when you breathe deeply. Yet it is something that people find very hard.
    I was at dinner last night showing some friends how to breathe through their diaphragm, and they all found it near impossible. The bottle of wine may not have helped, however!
    I’ve also noticed that pretty much all my clients with back pain, are shallow breathers… a coincidence, I think not!

  4. Amelia Burton says:

    Hi Uriel,

    I am glad the breathing has helped with your stress levels. Keep it up.

  5. […] 1) Breath.  Meditation and yoga are the most popular breath practices today.  Classes and books are easily available, or you can simply reprise your first act when you left your mother’s womb.  Stop what you’re doing, and breathe. (Crying your lungs out, like when you took your first breath, is optional.)  Feel your ribcage rise and fall.  Make each succeeding breath slower and deeper.  It can take as little as ten breaths to positively alter your mood. […]

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  7. Susan Beth says:

    Our world is so full of stress, it’s hard to get through the day.

    Just wanted to let you know that this technique has been helpful to me. There is one thing I’ve noticed though, and that it seems to make me feel a little light-headed when I’ve finished. My BP tends to run on the very low side, so are there any modifications that I can do?


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