Have you ever been so stressed that you find yourself holding your breath? Well deep breathing practices are actually a stress reliever and an incredible cleanser at a cellular level.
There are many benefits of breathing techniques and practices for our health, happiness, and overall flow of life. Here are five things that will occur when you take the time to move air and energy through your body:
Your muscles relax. You’ll find it’s difficult to maintain a lot of physical tension when you are breathing properly.
Oxygen delivery improves. When you breathe deeply, and you are relaxed, fresh oxygen pours into every cell in the body. This increases the functionality of every system in the body. You will also notice improved mental concentration and physical stamina.
Your blood pressure lowers. As your muscles let go of tension, your blood vessels dilate, and your blood pressure can return to a normal level.
Endorphins are released. Deep breathing triggers the release of endorphins, which improves feelings of well-being and provides pain-relief.
Detoxification improves. Good breathing habits help the lymphatic system function properly, which encourages the release of harmful toxins. This cleanses the body and allows it to direct its energy to more productive functions.
When we are stressed, regardless of the type of stress that is occurring our body goes into a “fight or flight” response in order to protect itself from any potential harm. This response also suppresses the immune system and makes us more susceptible to illness. A similar, but opposite response can be triggered by activating deep breath practices into our lives. This triggers a relaxation response in the body that encourages positive and healthy changes. These deep breathing practices are more common than you may be aware of. They come in the form of yoga, meditation, tai chi, Qi Gong, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation. You can also do these deep breathing practices without the organized and formal routines.
- Start by finding a quiet place to sit or lay down.
- First just breathe normally and get comfortable in the space
- Then take a deep breath in through your nose filling up your lungs and allowing both your lungs and your belly to expand.
- Hold the air in your lungs for a couple of seconds and then release slowly through your mouth, or your nose if you feel more comfortable with that.
- Focus in on this technique and repeat 5-10 times. You can increase your repetitions as you become more comfortable with this practice.
- This can be coupled with imagery or your mantras and affirmations that we discussed above.
So, start small, baby steps.
You can do these practices throughout the day, for example while you are sitting in traffic, standing in line at the bank, or sitting at your desk at work. Practice these deep breathing techniques often and you will find that you are flowing through life with ease and your stress level, the tightness in your chest, or your ability to cope with everyday situations becomes easier. Start with many 1 to 5-minute sessions throughout your day. Like we said before, set a gentle alarm and give yourself the gift of health.