Ever heard of resonance breathing? It's a scientifically-backed method that works wonders in reducing anxiety levels. 

For a long time, the scientific community overlooked how our breath can positively affect our wellbeing. However, times have changed and science has finally caught up with the gap, especially given the significant surge in anxiety cases. According to the World Health Organization, 301 million people were dealing with anxiety disorders in 2019, and that number rose up even more after the whole COVID-19 situation.

Now, let's talk about resonance breathing. Why does it work so well?

Let's dig in.

Resonance Breathing is Linked to Your Heart Rate Variability

To understand resonance breathing, we need to first understand an important physiological metric called heart rate variability (HRV).

While that might sound like a complex word, HRV refers to a simple, yet significant physiological biomarker of our well-being, mood, and adaptation. It is a measure of the variation in time between successive heartbeats. 

It's important to note that it is not a constant rhythm but rather the variation in the time interval between heartbeats, influenced by the autonomic nervous system, which consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches with the following functions.

The sympathetic system

Often referred to as the "fight or flight" system, the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for intense physical activity or stress.

The parasympathetic system

Known as the "rest and digest" system, the parasympathetic nervous system promotes relaxation and recovery. 

Your autonomic nervous system will influence your HRV and when your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate are all in sync, you experience a massive HRV boost. 

  • With a high HRV, you experience better mood and ability to cope with stress because like muscles, your nerves are trained to become more resilient to stressors.
  • With a low HRV, your body is less responsive to physiological needs, which can increase conditions such as depression, anxiety, and chronic stress.

Learn about: Biofeedback Technology: Understanding Your Body's Stress Signals

Resonance Breathing Simply Explained

Two studies published in 2017 and 2022 show that resonance breathing has the potential to improve your heart rate variability (HRV). And you want a high HRV to reduce anxiety, right?

By promoting slower and deeper breathing, resonance breathing can enhance the balance of the autonomic nervous system and contribute to improving your heart rate variability.

You might find sources saying that in resonance breathing, one must breathe at approximately 6 breaths per minute, often described as the ideal frequency to synchronize your heart and breath rates and increase your HRV. But in reality, everyone's resonance breathing is unique and it's only possible to know yours unless you are doing it for a long time or use a live HRV biofeedback device like Oxa.

It is a reliable method that uses sensors placed on your skin measuring your physiological functions such as heart rate, respiration, muscle tension, and teaches you how to change your physiological activity. Information is directly processed and sends you biofeedback that allows you to become directly aware of your HRV and find your resonance breathing.

Resonance Breathing Benefits for Anxiety Reduction

The synchronization between heart and breaths rates in resonance breathing promotes a range of health benefits:

  • A calmer heart.
  • A reduction of stress signals in your muscles (MSNA), leading to a more relaxed state.
  • Lower blood pressure, making your heart's job easier.
  • Enhancement of your body's reflexes, improving its responsiveness to changes in your environment.
  • Improvement in the harmony in your heart's rhythm, enhancing overall efficiency.
  • Better response to stress.

Remember, resonance breathing is like a gentle tune-up for your body, helping everything work together smoothly. By incorporating mindfulness and resonance breathing practices into your daily routines, you can cultivate a sense of calm, regulate your nervous system, and enhance overall well-being.

Tips for Effective Resonance Breathing

Incorporating resonance breathing into your daily routine doesn't require significant time or effort. Here are practical steps to integrate resonance breathing into your life.

1. Morning Ritual

Start your day with a few minutes of resonance breathing. Set aside time to focus on your breath, establishing a positive tone for the day.

2. Midday Reset

During moments of stress or overwhelm, take a short break for resonance breathing. A few minutes of intentional breathing can recalibrate your nervous system.

3. Evening Wind Down

Before bedtime, engage in resonance breathing to promote relaxation and improve the quality of your sleep.

4. Mindful Transitions

Incorporate resonance breathing during transitions between activities. Whether it's moving from work to personal time or vice versa, a brief breathing session can aid in smoother transitions.

By weaving resonance breathing into different aspects of your day, you create pockets of calm and balance. Consistency is key, and over time, the cumulative effects of this practice contribute to sustained anxiety reduction.

When we seek to alleviate anxiety, embracing scientifically validated methods is important. Resonance breathing, rooted in robust research, serves as a powerful anxiety self-regulatory tool, influencing our bodily functions. 

FAQ

Q. Why is using science to backproof methods important for anxiety reduction?

Using science ensures that anxiety reduction methods are based on rigorous research and empirical data. It separates anecdotal success stories from evidence-based practices, providing a comprehensive understanding of their impact on physiological and psychological well-being. This approach validates claims, identifies potential risks, and fosters an informed and empowered approach to holistic well-being.

Q. How does resonance breathing reduce anxiety scientifically?

Resonance breathing is derived from slow breathing. Scientific studies show it improves heart rate variability, a key biomarker of well-being. This technique influences the autonomic nervous system, reducing stress signals and promoting a more relaxed state.

Q. What are the health benefits of resonance breathing for anxiety reduction?

Resonance breathing provides several health benefits, including a calmer heart, reduced stress signals in muscles, lower blood pressure, enhanced reflexes, and improved harmony in heart rhythm. These physiological improvements contribute to an overall reduction in anxiety, fostering ease and well-being.

Q.How can I incorporate resonance breathing into my daily routine effectively?

To integrate resonance breathing, start your day with a few minutes of breathing, take short breaks during moments of stress, engage in a session before bedtime, and incorporate it during transitions between activities. Simple adjustments, like finding your resonance frequency and practicing diaphragmatic breathing, can make a substantial difference in overall well-being. Using devices like Oxa for live biofeedback can optimize your practice.

Hakima Tantrika
Published:
June 7, 2024

MA, RYT 500, and ICF-certified coach is a holistic physical and mental health writer and educator. With global recognition, she's enriched over 2 million readers through her blog and shaped 800+ instructors worldwide. Fluent in four languages, Hakima blends extensive knowledge and a rich multicultural insight, making her a distinguished authority in the wellness sphere.

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