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Deep Breathing Enriches Your Life – One Breath At A Time
You are breathing as you read this. Of course you are. Everybody understands that breathing is essential to life. Breathing is something we do every minute of every day and we don’t generally give it much thought. But most people don’t understand the substantial benefits of deep, cleansing breaths. Deep breathing can unlock the door to radiant health and happiness.
You wouldn’t dream of venturing out into traffic without putting gas in your car. Yet most of us bust out of the door to face the day without supplying our body with the physical and mental energy we need to function at our full potential. Deep breathing is like “gas” for your body. It energizes you so you can go more miles and get more done.
Here are 6 reasons why you should practice deep breathing techniques:
- Improved Oxygen Flow: Shallow breathing (which is what most people do) will gradually cause constrictions in the chest and lungs, which in turn reduce the flow oxygen to your tissues. Deep breathing, on the other hand, expands the diaphragm and fills the lungs.
- Relaxation: When you take the time to breathe slowly in and out you evoke a relaxation response that both calms and invigorates you. You will find that you function better during the day and enjoy better sleep at night.
- Pain Management: Deep breathing is associated with reduced pain. Post-operative patients who use deep breathing techniques require less pain medication.
- Stronger Immune System: If you are not breathing properly then your body has to work overtime to deal with toxins and that places a strain on vital organs. When you breathe deeply you stimulate the body’s lymphatic system which flushes toxins from the cells.
- Better Mood: Short periods of meditation that focus on breathing can alter the body’s stress response and improve health. According to the National Institutes for Mental Health, deep breathing holds substantial benefits for people with anxiety disorders.
- Stronger Cardiovascular System: Deep breathing encourages a healthy respiratory response that benefits all functions of the body, especially the cardiovascular system.
Deep Breathing Is Easy To Learn
While most people don’t do it naturally, deep breathing is easy to learn and with practice it can become an integral part of your everyday life. It does not require extensive training. All it takes is a few minutes of quiet time and a desire to have a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life.
Find a quiet place. Sit down and remove all distractions in your environment. Don’t let your thoughts travel to mundane things that happened yesterday, what your child did this morning or what to have for dinner tonight. Focus only on the moment at hand. Surrender yourself to the here and now.
The key is to breathe deeply into your abdomen and not just your chest. It is important to inhale slowly through your nose, not your mouth. Expand your abdomen first, then fill your chest. Hold this for five seconds and then exhale fully and slowly through your slightly parted mouth for five seconds. If you do this for 10 minutes twice each day you can expect amazing results. You will be energized, relaxed and filled with mental clarity. As an added bonus, deep breathing techniques strengthen and tone abdominal muscles.
Give yourself the gift of a few quiet moments each day to breathe deeply, relax and improve your mental clarity. You will feel your life begin to improve, one breath at a time.