Deep breathing techniques can be extremely beneficial for individuals looking to relieve stress and anxiety. This relaxation technique is particularly effective because the exercises work to unite the states of the body and the mind through the natural process of breathing. By slowing down your breathing and initiating the relaxation effect in the body, you can simultaneously bring peace and calm to your racing mind. This sense of union or equilibrium between the body and the mind is the ultimate goal of most deep breathing techniques.
One of the major benefits of deep breathing is the increased levels of blood flow and oxygen to the brain as a result of the exercise. Most people are not breathing to their fullest potential on a daily basis. Typically, people either engage in high breathing or low breathing. A high breather will take short, quick breaths from the chest, failing to expand the lungs fully with each breath. A low breather takes short, stunted breaths from low in the stomach, usually due to poor posture and poor positioning. The complete or ideal breath involves inhaling deeply to the point that the lungs expand and exhaling fully. This type of breathing brings more oxygen into the body and forces out more carbon dioxide. Increased oxygenation in the brain causes a relaxation effect.
There are a number of popular deep breathing techniques practiced today, and many of them are tired direct to some form of exercise, whether it is Yoga, Pilates, Tai-Chi or another form of martial art. Pranayama breathing techniques are vital component of Yoga, with Pranayama being one of the 5 tenants of practicing Yoga. Regardless of which breathing technique you chose to practice, most of the exercises emphasize mindfulness of the breathing process, paying close attention to each inhalation and exhalation.
This brief list explores some of the major reasons why deep breathing is a beneficial relaxation technique:
1) They are Free
Though financial cost should not be the only factor contributing to your decision about which relaxation technique is best for you, it is certainly an added perk that practicing breathing techniques is free. There are many classes available to teach you proper breathing techniques, but there is also an extensive body if knowledge on the internet that can instruct you on some simple and effective deep breathing techniques.
2) You Can Do Them Anywhere
Though relaxation techniques like visiting a spa, chiropractor or going to a Yoga class are extremely beneficial as well, we often do not have the time to take out of our busy day to make these trips. One of the great qualities of deep breathing techniques is that they can be practiced in virtually any location. In the car, in a hot bath, at your desk during lunch or in the car on the way to your son’s soccer game are all great places to work on your deep breathing.
3) Breathing is Natural
Breathing is one of the most essential processes of the human body – it literally keeps us going. One of the greatest benefits of deep breathing techniques is that you are using one of the body’s natural processes to promote relaxation. Rather than bringing in some type of outside influence to relieve stress and anxiety, you are literally working from the inside to promote you own wellbeing.
4) Deep Breathing Removes Toxins
When engaging in deep breathing, you are cleaning out harmful amounts of carbon dioxide and improving the nervous system function with the increased amounts of oxygen flowing through your bloodstream.
5) Physical, Emotional, and Mental Strengthening
Research shows that people who practice some form of deep breathing technique show signs of improved wellbeing across the board, with benefits including: more energy, better moods, increased memory, better concentration, emotional control, a stronger immune system, and generally more awareness of self and others.