Our breathing is connected to the state of our mind. It is apparent that the state of our mind directly affects our Breathing. When in a stressful, emotional state or turmoil, the breathing pattern alters drastically. It becomes faster, shallow and irregular. Sometimes people even hold their breath under Stress, which leads to an accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood.
Mental stress occurs due to the arousal of sympathetic branch of our autonomicnNervous system, which is very sensitive to carbon dioxide levels in the blood. Laughter Yoga provides an excellent cardiac workout, and triggers a breathing pattern that offers significant respiratory benefits. It lowers the amount of residual air in the lungs, replacing it with oxygen-rich air. This reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the lungs, and prevents the stress arousal system.
The best way to reduce mental stress is to activate parasympathetic system which is opposite of sympathetic system. This can be done by changing the way we breathe. If we can learn to breathe from the diaphragm, mental stress cannot occur, even if you have stressful thoughts in your mind. Your body simply will not react to stressful thoughts.The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscular partition between the chest and the abdomen. It plays an important role in the most vital function of respiration. During inhalation, the diaphragm contracts, and pulls down, to make space for the lungs to expand, and during Exhalation, it relaxes and pushes the lungs to facilitate exhalation.
By shifting the breathing pattern from shallow to deep diaphragmatic breathing, it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the cooling branch of the autonomic nervous system, and is the opposite of the sympathetic stress arousal System. This scientific phenomenon coupled with the ancient yogic wisdom of breathing, makes this concept a unique exercise regime to loosen stress and relieve anxiety.
One of the prime objectives of Laughter Yoga is to learn how to move the diaphragm, and shift the awareness of Breathing from the chest to the Deep Abdominal Breathing. With the movement of the diaphragm, we can bring our emotions under conscious control.