Deep breathing involves flexing your diaphragm while taking
deep, even breathes. When done correctly deep breathing can be therapeutic and
have noticeable health benefits. With enough practice it can even become your
standard way of breathing. Deep breathing is very often used as therapy for problems
like hyperventilation and anxiety disorders. By simply adding a few minutes of
deep breathing here and there through your day you can greatly increase your
health while decreasing your stress.
How does deep breathing help your general health?
Well first off it can reduce stress. When stressed people
have the tendency to take shallow breathes. Some studies can show that a fast
breathing rate is linked to high blood pressure to relax you do the opposite.
Deep breathing also releases endorphins into the system. These are our bodies natural painkillers. This can help relieve general aches and pains, as well as help ease problems with sleeplessness.
Deep breathing also relaxes muscles, a major cause of neck, back and stomach pains. Some studies have shown that deep breathing can also benefit asthma sufferers. This is partly because deep breathing can strengthen weak abdominal and intestinal muscles, and who doesn’t want that?
Some more deep breathing benefits are:
) Decreases stress, increases calm.
2) Relieves pain.
3) Stimulates the lymphatic system (Detoxifies the body).
4) Improves immunity.
5) Increases energy.
6) Lowers blood pressure.
7) Improves digestion.
8) Helps support correct posture.
9) Balances your emotions
Below are the 3 Breathing techniques you can try to reduce your anxiety and stress:
Abdominal Breathing Technique:
The abdominal breathing technique can be really helpful before experiencing a particularly stressful event like taking an exam or giving a big presentation. Oy, our hearts are pounding just thinking about it.
How to do it: Place one hand on your chest and the other on
your belly. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing diaphragm (not
your chest) to inflate with enough air to create a slight stretching sensation
in your lungs. Slowly exhale.
Progressive muscle relaxation
The progressive muscle relaxation method works best when
you’re sitting at home, in your office chair, or even in your car. By
intentionally tensing and then relaxing each muscle group one at a time, you
can nix excess tension from head to toe.
How to do it: Close your eyes and focus on tensing and
relaxing each muscle group for 2 to 3 seconds. Start with your feet and toes,
and then move up to your knees, thighs, glutes, chest, arms, hands, neck, jaw,
and eyes. Maintain deep, slow breaths the entire time. If holding your breath ever feels uncomfortable, tone it
down to just a few seconds.
4-7-8 Breathing or “relaxing breath”
This breathing exercise is an alternative to equal breathing
that can also help you fall asleep faster. It has roots in yoga’s pranayama,
which is all about helping people learn how to gain control over their breath.
How to do it: Begin by sitting or lying down in a
comfortable position. Your eyes can be open or closed. Press the tip of your
tongue to the roof of your mouth, slightly open your mouth, and exhale until
you reach the bottom of your breath. Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose for 4
counts. Then hold your breath for 7 counts. Finally, exhale very slowly so that
it takes a total of 8 counts to return to the bottom of your breath.
Repeat for 4 full breaths, and work your way up to 8 breaths
Breathing techniques offer benefits if done regularly. Start slow then increase the frequency.
Feel like getting more relaxed and resetting your chakras?
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