Six Benefits of Breathing Exercises

Breathe Deeply
Photo by Amanda Hirsch

I have been trying to learn how to meditate. I am a ways off. My mind drifts off and I start thinking about dozens of things. If I devote ten minutes to meditation, it ends up being ten minutes of day dreaming.

One of the elements of meditation that I have picked up and works really well is deep breathing – performing breathing exercises. This is a great relaxation technique that works and works quickly.

METHOD

Breathe deeply through the nose for four seconds.

Hold your breath for seven seconds.

Exhale for eight seconds.

Do this for five repetitions; in the morning, before bed and anytime during the day you feel stressed.

Does it have to be 4,7,8 seconds? No tweak those numbers to suit you. The point is to go slowly and deliberately.

BENEFITS

1. CALM – When I do this I can feel my heart rate slow down. If I feel stressed I can feel my blood pressure decrease. It is like I am watching the temperature on a thermometer decrease.

2. ENERGY – I feel more awake with more energy which is great when I do this in the morning. At night, I don’t feel the energy boost, or at least it is not enough to offset the calm/relaxed feeling that puts me to sleep.

3. HEALTHIER – As much as 70% of the toxins in your body are released in your breathing. Deep breathing intensifies this, releasing more toxins than a shallow breath.

4. POSTURE – Good breathing techniques enhance your posture. Try it and see if your chest doesn’t come out, shoulders back, chin in…

5. FOCUS – When you do these breathing exercises it requires you to focus on how you breathe, how long you inhale, hold, and exhale. This is one of the techniques used in meditation to keep your mind from wandering.

6. HAPPIER – Breathing deeply releases endorphins which make you feel good. Endorphins spark a good feeling in you similar to a drug, like when you go for a run and you come back with a runner’s high.

Endorphins help diminish pain, making you feel good or relaxed. Your body makes them and they are released in response to chemicals called neurotransmitters. They bind to receptors like pain medicines but without the bad side effects.

SUMMARY

Give it a try. Develop a daily habit and use this anytime you feel the pressure building. Make it a habit by incorporating into a daily routine like when you get dressed or after you turn out lights for bed. This way it will become second nature to you like when you sigh relief after a dreaded moment – giving a speech, close call in traffic…

Feel free to comment below if you try it and like it.

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