Have you had anyone say, “take in a deep breath and relax?” Well, here’s the thing: we often take breathing for granted because we unconsciously do it all the time.
Deep breathing, the one we become conscious about, can provide us with so many benefits.
What are the benefits of deep breathing?
1. Helps to release good energy
Deep breathing improves every system in our body. Not only does it provide a refreshing and often healing effect, but it also supports our metabolic process.
Our bodies thrive on the energy we get when we take in oxygen by breathing, charges our red blood cells and breathing out carbon dioxide.
When you breathe in deeply, your diaphragm drops down, which allows your rib cage to expand and create more space for the lungs to inflate. This process increases the flow of oxygen, enabling us to experience a calmed and relaxed sensations.
2. Helps to control aging
When we breathe slowly and deeply, we increase the secretion of anti-aging hormones. Since deep breathing gets rid of stress, it also helps to enlighten our mood which leads to increased levels of serotonin and endorphins.
Molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn shared a Nobel Prize for her research on The Telomere Effect. In her groundbreaking study, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and her colleague Dr. Elissa Epe found that people who meditate for four years have longer telomere compared to those who don’t.
Telomeres are structures at the end of chromosomes that play a crucial part in cellular aging. Short telomeres have been linked to premature cellular aging.
3. Improves cardiovascular health
Deep breathing from the diaphragm improves blood and oxygen circulation to the brain, heart, liver, and other reproductive organs.
One study of the heart attack patients found that100 percent of the patients were chest breathers. Chest breathers have very small diaphragm movement and belly expansion when they breathe.
In another study, researchers reported that patients who survive a heart attack and who used the exercise regime and breathing training afterward had a 50 percent reduction in the risk of another heart attack over the next five years.
4. Promotes digestive health
When you breathe deeply, more blood flows into the digestive tract. This enables our intestines to digest food and supports digestion in general.
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation can sometimes have their roots in poor breathing. Also, because deep breathing calms our nervous system, it helps to improve digestion.
5. Improves mental wellbeing
If you’re not breathing well, you won’t be able to release energy and calm your mind. Deep breathing allows you to relax the mind and improves your ability to learn, focus, concentrate and memorize.
The brain requires a great deal of oxygen to function and increase the intake of oxygen helps us to achieve clarity and feel grounded and productive.
It also relieves stress, anxiety, depression and negative thought patterns. Breathing properly can help overcome addictive patterns of behavioral eating disorders as well as igniting creating and passion
6. Supports the lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is considered the body’s sewerage system because it helps the body to
- Keep healthy fluid levels in our body tissues
- Remove all fluids that leak out of our blood vessels
- Protect the body from infection by producing cells and antibodies
To be able to do this job well, the lymphatic system depends on gravity, muscle movement and breathing to keep flowing. This is where deep breathing comes into the picture.
Deep breathing can have a crucial role in supporting the lymphatic system so that your body can resist diseases and fight bacteria and viruses.
7. Releases muscle tension
One of the benefits of deep breathing is that it helps to get rid of stress. Stress tenses our muscles and builds up negative feelings. When we are stressed, we feel anger, depression, and pain.
Worse, our breathing becomes shallow which contracts our muscle tissues. Deep breathing can enable us to release this tension.
Deep breathing exercises: get more benefits
1. Three-Part Breathing
Three-part breathing exercise is one of the most popular for its sheer simplicity. You inhale slowly and deeply. Exhale completely while paying attention to your body. Do this a couple of times and then exhale slowly, much slower than you inhaled.
2. 4-7-8 Breathing
Part your lips gently. Exhale deeply, which a whoosh sound. Inhale through your nose silently, pressing your lips and counting up to 4.
Hold your breath and count to 7. Exhale, counting to 8 and whooshing as you go. Start with four reps and work your way up to eight reps.
3. Bhramari Pranayamas and cover your eyes with the remaining fingers.
To do this exercise, breathe in and out deeply with your eyes closed. Place your hands over your ears to close them.
Move your fingers over your eyes, covering your eyebrows with each index finger. Apply a little pressure to your nose on both sides, focusing on your brows, too.
Slowly breathe out through your nose while your mouth is closed and hum ‘om’ as you do it. Do the whole thing 5 times.
Bjramari pranayama promotes sleep by reducing your heart rate.