We do this all day, every day without a thought.
Ask yourself this- when was the last time you took a deep breath?
Probably not as frequently as you think. I would venture to say only a few times a day. But did you know that deep breathing is one of our easiest, most convenient, and natural tools to combat issues like stress and anxiety, reduce pain, high blood pressure, and even aid in digestion?
So why expand your breath awareness?
Simply put- extra oxygen does wonder for the body and mind. It cleanses, opens, and soothes different parts of our being and is overall something extremely healthy we can all do.
Below are some of the proven benefits of deep breathing:
Improves blood flow
When we take deep breaths, the upward and downward movement of the diaphragm helps remove the toxins from the body promoting better blood flow.
The more oxygen that is in the blood, the better our body functions. It also improves our stamina.
Deep breathing brings fresh oxygen and exhales out toxins and carbon dioxide. When the blood is oxygenated, it ensures the smoother functioning of your vital organs, including the immune system. A cleaner, toxin-free, and healthier blood supply help ward off infection-causing germs from the base and strengthens your immunity. Deep breathing also acts as a natural toxin reliever. It also benefits the absorption of vitamins and nutrients in the body, making sure you recover faster as well.
Reduces Stress. Increases Focus
When you become stressed or anxious, your brain releases cortisol, the “stress hormone.” By taking deep breaths, your heart rate slows, more oxygen enters our bloodstream and ultimately communicates with the brain to relax. Deep breathing also ups your endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical.
Believe it or not, bad posture is related to incorrect breathing. If you don’t believe it, try it yourself. Try to breathe deeply and notice how your body starts to straighten up during the process. When you fill your lungs with air, this automatically encourages you to straighten up your spine.
A lot is said that diseases like cancer only thrive in bodies that are acidic in nature. Deep breathing is said to reduce the acidity in your body, thereby making it alkaline. Stress also increases the acidity level in the body. Breathing also reduces stress and thus acidity.
Stimulates lymphatic system
As our breathing is what moves the lymph, shallow breathing can lead to a sluggish lymphatic system that will not detoxify properly. Deep breathing will help you get the lymph flowing properly so that your body can work more efficiently.
Breathing deep supplies more oxygen to all our body parts including our digestive system, thus making it work more efficiently. The increased blood flow due to deep breathing also encourages intestinal action which further improves your overall digestion. In addition, deep breathing results in a calmer nervous system, which in turn also enhances optimal digestion.
Lowers blood pressure.
As your muscles relax, this allows your blood vessels to dilate, which improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. Deep breathing also slows and regulates the heart rate, which also helps with lowering your BP.
Deep breathing beginner technique for you:
- Breathe in calmly, through the nose, filling your abdomen and chest, for 5 seconds (or longer, not exceeding 7 seconds).
- Hold this breath in for 3 seconds.
- Slowly and gently release the breath through the mouth for 5 seconds (or more, whatever is comfortable.) breathe out through a slightly parted lip or “O” shaped lips. Repeat this 5 times, or even better, continue for 5 minutes.
- Deep breathing should be slow and gentle.
- Remember to fill the abdomen, not just the chest.
- Sometimes it’s easier to lie down or sit comfortably in a chair.
Taking just a few moments each day to practice some deep breathing exercises can decrease stress, relax your mind, body and can help you sleep better. Breathing correctly is important for your overall well-being.
Love and light