When we start to feel anxious, upset or uncomfortable, our breathing is one of the first things that changes. It usually becomes faster, shallower and less smooth. This happens in response to a release of chemicals in our bodies which are preparing us to deal with a threat. Therefore, the change in our breathing is a signal to our brains that something is wrong. By noticing the change in our breathing, recognizing that there is no present threat, and making a conscious change in our breathing rate and depth, we can signal our brains and bodies that we are safe, which allows our whole system to calm down. This is called regulation.