Breath is linked not only with the body but with our emotions as well. Usually, unless we are paying attention, we are likely breathing shallowly into our chests. However, most of us have experienced the effect deep breaths can have on calming our nerves in the face of panic. Mindfully bringing the breath all the way into the belly, into the lower lobes of the lungs, increases our intake of oxygen, a vital form of nourishment. You'll find that your shoulders relax, the racing thoughts slow, and the world seems a little bit more manageable.
3-part breath, or dirga in Sanskrit, is a powerful practice for physical relaxation and calming our nerves. It's one of the tools I use most often for my own self care, and have found it essential for headaches, sleeplessness, and mindfully coming back to my body in times of stress.
Breathe into your belly, ribcage, and collarbone anytime you are feeling anxious or when you're ready for rest, to experience its transformative effect on your body and mind.
Remember to breathe gently and if you feel lightheaded, come back to breathing normally.