The Importance and Benefits of Deep Breathing
Relax and Take a Deep Breath
We’ve all heard this phrase before. I’m sure many of us have even uttered those words at someone yelling in an effort to relax them. Breathing to relax is a method everyone knows. So in a society where there are more stressed-out people than ever before, why aren’t we using breathing to our advantage and using it to relax and cleanse our body?
As long as we are alive, our bodies automatically breathe (for us) as part of our autonomic nervous system. But don’t take this bodily function for granted as it is an extremely useful and integral system for regulating your body, reducing stress, and removing toxins. The importance of breathing often gets overlooked, and that is one of the major reasons why everyone has so much stress nowadays – they don’t know how to manage, regulate, and reduce the stress.
Deep breathing, controlled breathing, and breathing exercises are different types of methods that you can use to regulate your body and reduce stress. Deep breathing refers to taking large inhalations into your lungs, and large exhalations out of your lungs. Controlled breathing refers to the pace and handling of your breathing habits. If you breath at a steady, consistent pace in and out, then that is one way to perform controlled breathing. Breathing exercises are different types of challenges and techniques you can perform with your breathing to give your lungs, body and concentration a work out. One popular controlled, deep breathing exercises is the following: “Slowly inhale deep into your lungs. Once you’ve inhaled deeply and fully, pause for 2 seconds at the deepest point of the inhalation. This pause allows your body to soak in the oxygen and relax. Then exhale slowly and consistently until the entire breath is out.” Here is another link to some more breathing exercises: http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/
Breathing has an endless number of benefits:
1) Increases oxygen to the heart
2) Increases blood circulation around the body – which cleans the body and removes toxins and waste
3) Decreases cortisol in the body, which leads to stress
4) Decreases muscular tension in the body
5) Exercises and improves lung functioning
6) Sharpens mental ability and focus
7) Deepens thoughts, feelings and emotions
8) Quickens response time
9) Improves communication skills – listening, talking, rapport
10) Increases physical capability and ability – running, exercising, working out, playing sports
11) Deepens relaxation and meditation
12) Calms nerves and anxieties
13) … there are an endless number of benefits to breathing!
And to think that we were just breathing minimally to stay alive! Use it to your advantage and reap the benefits in your health, well-being and life. Don’t forget that smoking cigarettes is one of the fastest ways to destroy your lungs, develop lung cancer and other illnesses, and lose years off your life. For more information on the importance of breathing and breathing exercises, please click on the following links and resources: