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Conscious relaxed breathing can alter anger response

Conscious relaxed breathing settles the nervous response; helps in anger response.

Research has shown that consistent state of anger can play havoc with your body. It can increase chances of developing coronary heart diseases and can lead to stress related problems like digestive issues, headaches and insomnia.


As we are aware of the fact that anger can result in short and rapid respiration, then can the reverse be true as well? Can relaxed and slow breathing produce opposite emotion of anger?

Definitely yes! Much research has been done on the impact of breathing on mood processing. A direct cause and effect relationship between anger response and breathing has already been linked.


1. Breathing exercises focuses on self actualization

Realizing and accepting that you are angry are the first line of defense against an outburst. When you acknowledge an overwhelming feeling of anger, it then becomes critical to understand its consequences. By focusing on self actualization, deep breathing keeps the feeling of anger and stress response in check.


2. Breathing exercises reduces physiological arousal

The physiological arousal associated with anger can increase angry thoughts. It can lower anger threshold and inhibits internal control. Breathing exercises by increasing self regulation can diminish stress response…

1. Relaxes muscles

2. It can lower your metabolism

3. Increases levels of nitric oxide

4. Reduces heart rate and blood pressure


3. Relaxed breathing stimulates PNS

It can increase oxygen supply to brain, stimulates parasympathetic nervous system (facilitates state of calmness) and inhibits sympathetic nervous system which brings fight and flight response. Also, by inhibiting sympathetic activity it reduces levels of cortisol and adrenaline hormones.

Focused breathing brings awareness away from the source of anger and helps to soothe your mind.


4. Relaxed breathing decreases amygdala activity

All emotions including anger begin in the part of the brain called amygdala. Amygdala identifies threats and is capable of producing immediate reactions.

Another part of the brain i.e. prefrontal cortex is responsible for keeping our emotions in check. But, Amygdala is so efficient in handling emotions, that it generally keep the upper hand over prefrontal cortex.

Our brain is wired in such a way that we act before we can check the reasonableness of our reaction. However, deep and conscious breathing reduces our arousal and amygdala activity. It allows us to learn ways to help our prefrontal cortex to override our emotional reactions.


5. Conscious Breathing can lessen the fear response

Fear and anger can lead to extreme anger response, as anger and rage can be exaggerated by an underlying sense of fear. The way we breathe is responsible for either diminishing or deteriorating the emotional or fear response.

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