Diaphragmatic breathing: Mindfulness Code

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Each breath teaches us that holding on too long to anything creates pain and suffering.
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Letting go is nature’s way, and this is no small thing.
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From the physical perspective, it only takes three conscious diaphragmatic breaths to reduce our blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration rate; to cleanse the blood of lactate; and to generate alpha brain waves, which put us in “the zone.”
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Diaphragmatic breathing also releases serotonin, the mood-stabilizing neurotransmitter, into our bloodstream.
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Perhaps most astonishing of all is that belly breathing can accomplish this in only twenty seconds.
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Physiologically, breathing into the deepest part of our lungs pushes on the diaphragmatic wall, the muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities.
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The downward movement of the diaphragm compresses the abdomen and forces it outward.
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This in turn causes the gut to press on the vagus nerve (a bundle of cranial nerves running down the inside of the spine), which triggers the relaxation response and releases serotonin from the gut into the bloodstream to take to the brain.
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When we breathe shallowly, or high in the chest, we don’t get these benefits.
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In fact, chest breathing makes us vulnerable to the body’s alert-and-alarm system, the fight-or-flight syndrome that floods the body and brain with the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.
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