Physical Manifestations of Trauma
When traumatic experiences occur early and often in life, the the body’s fight, flight or freeze system can become chronically activated. The brain is on constant high alert, ready for danger. One of the things that happens when this system is activated is that our breathing becomes shallower. This is because the brain is preparing the body in case it needs to take flight or fight back, it will have the oxygen it needs to keep you going.
That is a common practice to calm the mind and the body is by focusing on taking slow breathes. Since the mind and body are so intimately intertwined, slowing down the body can help quiet the mind as well. The more singular your focus can be while doing this the better. Find a quiet place, maybe close your eyes or look off and unfocus them. And put your whole attention on slowing the breathing down. Take in a breath on a count of three through your nose and then a count of three through your mouth. And just focus on that for a time.