Breathing and Stress – physical, physiological and emotional

Breathing and Stress – physical, physiological and emotional

Stress in modern day life can be triggered by deadlines, sitting for prolonged periods, lack of time, expectations etc. There is also stress from financial loss, divorce, moving house, moving jobs etc.

Mental stress activates the “flight, fight or freeze” response in the body, same as if we were running from that tiger. This is a response where our body gets ready to run or fight (increased heart rate, tightening of the muscles), or alternatively freeze (shallow breathing and not moving a muscle). Both scenarios create physical stress in the body.

How can Physio + Yoga counteract the stress response?

Breathing practices specifically for you are available at The Physio + Yoga Clinic, Crows Nest.

NOTE: We are all individuals and the tips below are general, they do not suit everyone.

1. Postural correction and stretches: Correcting of your posture and learning to release muscle tension with specific gentle stretches can enhance your ease of breathing and reduce stress. There is much more you can do..let us show you how to help yourself Book Online.

2. Simple breath awareness: start with this simple exercise below

Become aware of your breath and the quality of your inhalation for a few breaths, then turn your attention to your exhalation. This is a simple and effective way to bring your attention back to your body and to give your brain breaks throughout the day.  If you are able to incorporate short full stop moments throughout your day, to pause, and “to be”, you can end your day with more energy. Taking a pause to breathe need only take  1-2 minutes here and there; give yourself the opportunity to reconnect to your body.

3. Belly breathing and Box Breathing: Place your hands on your belly. Just be aware of your natural breathing. Feel the belly rise and fall. Your breathing will naturally elongate as you observe it. If you get anxious, try blowing the air out through pursed lips on each exhalation until you feel better.

You may like to try Box breathing: breathing in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4. Having a slightly longer exhalation can be more calming. Become aware of your body. Scan your body and breathe into any tense spots.


There are many more techniques and postural tips to improve your breathing and your sense of well-being. Physio and yoga combined here at The Physio & Yoga Clinic in Crows Nest has many techniques to help you individually.

The great thing about the breath is that it is with us wherever we go! You can use your breath to settle both tension in the body, and the mind.

The more we live  with an awareness and connection to our body, rather than being caught up in the raciness of our minds, we feel less stressed and don’t get as tired. This  allows us to have more energy for all of those things we love and enjoy! An inbuilt tool we can use to help us come back to our body is our breath. And the great thing about the breath is that it is with us wherever we go! Breathe even if the mind is unsettled. The breath will help settle the mind. Develop an intimate relationship with your breath, let it become your new best friend.

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