Deep breathing is one of the most important techniques you can do for your health. Most people take it for granted, and never think about how to breathe properly. As a result, they’re missing out on all the benefits deep breathing has to offer.
The benefits of deep breathing include reducing stress, improving circulation and digestion, and more. This article will show you what deep breathing is, how to do it properly, and all the additional benefits you can enjoy from it.
Table of Contents
What Is Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is a type of breathing that uses the diaphragm, a muscle located at the bottom of the lungs. This muscle contracts and relaxes as we breathe, and moves up and down as air enters and leaves the lungs.
When we breathe deeply, the diaphragm moves downward, which allows more air to enter the lungs. This deeper breathing provides more oxygen to the blood and tissues and can have a number of health benefits.
Breathing deeply is also a type of slow breathing. When we breathe slowly, it gives the body time to use all the oxygen that’s inhaled. This is in contrast to shallow breathing, which is when we take short, shallow breaths from the chest. Shallow breathing doesn’t allow enough time for the body to use all the oxygen and can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood.
How to Do Deep Breathing
Learning how to do deep breathing correctly can take a little practice, but it’s worth it for the many benefits you’ll enjoy. There are a few techniques you can do to make sure you’re doing deep breathing properly. Try these techniques to get started:
- Find a comfortable position. You can sit in a chair with your back straight, or lie down on your back with your knees bent.
- Place one hand on your stomach, just below your navel. This will help you to feel your diaphragm moving as you breathe. As you inhale deeply, you should feel your stomach expand. If you’re not, that means you’re shallow breathing and you need to focus on taking deeper breaths.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose, letting your stomach expand as you do so.
- As you exhale, gently contract your stomach muscles to push the air out.
- Repeat this deep breathing exercise for 10-15 minutes, or as long as you like.
Another way to ensure you’re doing deep breathing properly is to count to four as you inhale and then count to eight as you exhale. This will help you breathe slowly and deeply. You can also try using a breathing app or a device that helps you track your breathing.
All the Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing is a practice that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and has a number of benefits for our physical and mental health.
“Breathing exercises alone, if done RIGHT, will make many a weak man strong and many a sick man well.”Martin “Farmer” Burns
Key Physical Health Benefits from Deep Breathing
- Reduces Stress: When we’re stressed, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode. This causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and we start to breathe more shallowly. Deep breathing can help to counteract this response and reduce stress.
- Improves Circulation: Deep breathing helps to move oxygen-rich blood to the body’s tissues which can help detoxify the body. This can also improve circulation, particularly in people who have cardiovascular problems.
- Boosting Energy Levels. Deep breathing provides more oxygen to the blood and tissues, which can help to increase energy levels and improve overall health.
- Improving Respiratory Function. Deep breathing helps to strengthen the respiratory system and can be helpful for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
- Boosts Immune System: Deep breathing increases the flow of lymph, a clear fluid that carries immune cells around the body. This can help to boost the immune system and fight off infection.
- Improves Digestion: The process of digestion requires oxygen. When we breathe deeply, it helps to move oxygen-rich blood to the digestive organs, which can improve digestion. It can also aid in digestion by helping to move food through the intestines.
Key Mental Health Benefits from Deep Breathing
- Reduces Stress: As mentioned above, deep breathing can help to reduce stress. When we’re stressed, our bodies release the hormone cortisol. This hormone can have a negative impact on our mental health and can lead to anxiety and depression. Deep breathing helps to lower cortisol levels, which can improve our mental wellbeing.
- Improves Focus and Concentration: Deep breathing helps to oxygenate the brain, which can improve focus and concentration. It’s also been shown to boost memory and cognitive function.
- Increases Energy Levels: When we’re tired, our bodies tend to breathe more shallowly. This can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood, which can make us feel even more tired. Deep breathing helps to increase oxygen levels in the blood, which can give us more energy.
Deep breathing is one of the most important things we can do for our health and wellbeing. It has a number of benefits, both physical and mental. If you’re not already doing it, make sure to start incorporating deep breathing properly into your daily routine!