have you ever counted your chest rise and falls within a minute? did you know that the non-stressed person inhales and exhales an average of 10-12 times per minute?
rapid or shallow respiration is a key identifier in stress. and it only takes 10 seconds to diagnose. if you are taking breaths 2-3 times in that 10 seconds, your body is definitely identifying with stress, even if you are not consciously aware of it. small shallow breaths followed by deep sighing breaths is also an indicator of stress response in the body.
shallow breathing disrupts the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which keeps the right amount of oxygen coming in and equal amounts of carbon dioxide going out.
shallow breathing increases blood pressure and increases heart rate (important if you are in real physical danger, not so important in 99.9% of your day)
shallow breathing leads to a reduction in exercise of the respiratory muscles which equates to reduced physical ability, reduced endurance and quicker winding.
shallow breathing also causes sleep issues, complicating fatigue experienced by not breathing effectively with the respiratory muscles which leads to—or exacerbates—pain, including headaches and pain in the neck and upper back due to the disengagement of the diaphragm.
tomorrow we will discuss deep breathing and how to retrain your body to take deeper breaths