For thousands of years, ancient cultures emphasized special breathing practices because they were believed to have value for a person's health and wellness. Eastern meditation, relaxation, and movement practices, such as yoga, t'ai chi, and qigong, all incorporate deep breathing as their central element. Making it a part of our daily routine is recommended by Roxy + Star.
Even today, deep breathing has a huge impact on our wellness in terms of helping us handle different situations. Changing how we breathe can relax the body, help our mind focus, change our emotional state, and reduce the impact of stress. It can truly foster the self-healing powers of our body and gives us the following benefits that can encourage anyone to make it a daily practice.
The beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide can be achieved through deep breathing. It allows the lungs to fully exhale the build-up of carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. Moreover, organs are supplied with the proper amount of oxygen for their optimal functioning. The more oxygen that’s in the blood, the better the body functions. It then improves stamina and gives more energy. Real Simple highlights deep breathing as one of several energy boosters for everyday practice.
Detoxifies the body
As deep breathing releases carbon dioxide, which is important to fully release, it is also in charge of 70% of cleansing the body of toxins (the other 30% is through bladder and bowels). If you don’t breathe fully, the body will work overtime to release these toxins.
Reduces stress and anxiety
It’s a given that stressors are everywhere around us, whether financial, personal, or professional. And sometimes, we tend to lose clarity in thinking, which can provoke anxiety. Thankfully, Pain Free Working points out that something as simple as sitting still and taking a few deep breaths can do wonders for our mental health.
Try placing your left hand on your chest, and your right by your stomach. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose, letting the air fill your belly. This slows down your heart rate, bringing in more oxygen into your blood stream. The overall effect is getting the brain to calm down by lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) and increasing endorphins (or your feel-good chemicals) that combat pain naturally.
Helps correct posture
Respiratory Care has found that people suffering from neck pain or sore, stiff neck muscles have problems using the lungs and respiratory system to their full capacity.
Whenever you breathe deeply, notice that you simultaneously lengthen and straighten your spine. In order to take a deep breath, your lungs take up maximum space, your diaphragm pulls down, and your torso straightens. If you make deep breathing a regular habit, it will also help maintain proper posture and alleviate pain anywhere along the spine.
Lowers blood pressure
As your muscles relax through deep breathing, your blood vessels dilate, which improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. Deep breathing also slows down and regulates the heart rate, which also helps decrease blood pressure.
Breathing deeply supplies more oxygen to all body parts, including the digestive system, thus making it work more efficiently. The increased blood flow due to deep breathing also encourages intestinal action, which improves overall digestion. In addition, deep breathing results in a calmer nervous system, which also enhances optimal digestion.
Now that you know about one simple trick that can help you a long way to maintain your overall health, make it a regular habit. Just breathe.
Written for Ceremonymeditation.com
By Jamie Broad