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Why You Shouldn’t ‘Take a Deep Breath’ When You’re Stressed

Source | www.ccl.org

Does Taking a Deep Breath Actually Help You Relax?

At some point in your life, you’ve likely experienced an upsetting situation that provoked anxiety. Maybe you received an email from your boss saying, “We need to talk.” You quickly began to dread the meeting. Thoughts of what might be wrong, or how you might explain yourself, flooded your mind.

When it was finally time to meet, your body’s anxiety reaction was in full swing. Perhaps first you noticed a drop in your stomach. Then once you sat down at your boss’ desk, your heart started beating more quickly and your hands began to sweat.

As these symptoms continued, you noticed your breathing becoming more rapid and shallow. Your mind raced through possible ways to calm yourself, and you remembered the well-intentioned saying, “Take a deep breath!”

In line with this advice, you began to inhale deeply…

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