Activate the Relaxation Response with Long, Deep Breathing

Shock, fear, and anxiety during the cancer experience (or any very difficult time) cause the nervous system to react automatically. The “sympathetic nervous system” gets activated into fight, flight, or freeze and, in cases of prolonged stress, is in a state of ongoing high alert.

Long deep breathing can be an essential antidote to calm the body and mind by activating the “parasympathetic nervous system.” It seems simple but requires mindful awareness and intention.

Let’s spend a few minutes practicing together. This week, use moments of anxiety as “cues” to remind you to return to a long deep breath. Let me know how it goes! Sat nam.

4 thoughts on “Activate the Relaxation Response with Long, Deep Breathing”

  1. Kelly – thank you for this so, so simple yet, for me, so, so essential practice. I think I’m doing long deep breathes, but when I practice, I realize I’m really not.
    P.S. I underwent a MRI for my knee a couple of weeks ago – perfect time for long deep breathing, right? Wrong! The tech had to interrupt the process and tell me to stop “yoga” breathing. My knee was moving ever so slightly due to my breathing! Weird.

    • You are welcome Linda! Yes, we all need reminders…I know what you mean with the machines – it’s hard to stop breathing and moving once you start to try to relax! See you soon.


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