Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that can help you reduce stress and anxiety.
The majority of us breathe fast and shallowly. It leaves the capacity of our lungs untapped as they barely expand. We normally take 17-18 breaths per minute.
However, when we suffer from stress or anxiety, the frequency tends to increase and can reach 30 breaths per minute.
It puts you at risk. Fast, shallow breathing generates progressive imbalances that affect our blood pressure, our immune system, our muscles, and even our mind.
A more healthy breathing frequency is about 10 breaths per minute. Read on to learn how you can use your breathing to become healthier.
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What Is Deep Breathing?
Deep breathing means
the action of breathing deeply, especially as a method of relaxation.
Deep breathing is when you breathe with your abdomen either by moving the diaphragm muscles downwards or the abdominal muscles outwards.
Deep breathing provides slow and relaxed breathing that facilitates body relaxation and promoting health benefits.
You can read more about the health benefits deep breathing can provide in our article 11 Benefits Of Deep Breathing [Research-Backed]
Guide: How To Breathe Deep
When you do the breathing exercises, you should sit or lie comfortably in a place where you are not disturbed.
The first few times you try deep breathing, you may feel restless.
But it will get easier if you keep practicing.
Just like small children breathe
The first step is to become aware of your breathing.
Your goal is to use your entire lung capacity and then consciously bring the air to the stomach and chest like a wave.
Deep breathing step-by-step
Find a comfortable place to sit where you can stretch your back.
Your clothes should be comfortable and leave space around the waist and abdomen without pressure.
- Push your chest forward and relax your shoulders.
- Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for four seconds. (When you do, you should feel how your hand on your belly moves much more than your hand on your chest.)
- Hold your breath for two to four seconds and exhale slowly through your mouth.
- Do this several times until you have a calming rhythm.
- After you exhale for the last time, take as deep a breath as you can. Exhale! Then, hold your breath for as long as you can, up until the point you feel like you need to breathe again.
Try to deep breathe for 10 minutes or until you feel relaxed and less stressed.
Gradually work your way up to 15-20 minutes.
I find that watching a relaxation video with calm music really helps me while I deep breathe.
We have several relaxation videos on our youtube channel if you’re interested. Here’s an interesting video where we combine calm music with a close up view of ants hard at work.
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Slowly but surely, you should start to see benefits in your physical health, as well as a new level of mental clarity that will help you cope every day.
Why Deep Breathing Is So Good For You
Deep breathing is a great way to lower stress in your body.
Deep breathing causes the brain's electrical activity to change from stimulating beta waves to calming alpha waves.
It changes the brain's perception of stress and pain so that we become more tolerant.
When we breathe deeply and slowly, oxygen reaches the cells and regulates the amount of oxygen in the blood. It is very beneficial for our overall health.
If you want to learn about all the health benefits deep breathing can provide, I suggest you check out our article 11 Benefits Of Deep Breathing [Research-Backed]
Conclusion: Take A Break And Breathe For Your Health
We all know that it's important to breathe. Vital even!
Deep breathing can improve your health. Both physical and mental. It can even work as pain relief.
It can be a bit tricky in the beginning when you start deep breathing. It can be hard to let go of all thoughts and allow yourself to be in the moment.
It is not that hard to do when you get the hang of it, but it can take a bit of practice before you start noticing the benefits and reaping the rewards.
Taking just a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing can decrease your stress, relax your body, improve your blood flow and help you sleep better, among other things.
I recommend you try it today. It’s worth it!
Good luck and remember, practice makes perfect!