Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~ Oprah Winfrey
Have you ever had one of those days where you were so stressed that you felt like you could use some help to save your sanity? If so, you’ll be happy to discover a strategy you can use to reduce stress and improve your health at the same time. This strategy is easy and convenient, and it’s called “deep breathing.”
One response to stress is shallow breathing. This type of breathing is not the best way to draw air into the body, since you are mostly filling the upper part of your lungs. On the other hand, diaphragmatic or deep breathing fills the lungs with life-giving oxygen. This type of breathing fills the lungs to their capacity.
Here is a deep breathing exercise. While lying on your back or sitting in a chair, place your hands on your abdomen near your naval. Take deep breaths, feeling the rise and fall of your abdominal area. Taking a few deep breaths will not only oxygenate your body but also will help improve circulation, decrease anxiety and increase alertness.
We automatically breathe without thinking about it too much, unless a medical condition affecting breathing is present. The moment we bring breathing into awareness, we begin to control how we breathe. The beauty is that it doesn’t cost you anything to breathe. But when is it appropriate to do breathing exercises? And how often can they be done?
When To Do Deep Breathing Exercises
There are no hard-and-fast rules stipulating when to do breathing exercises. It really depends on what you’re wishing to achieve by doing them.
You can use breathing exercises at any time to:
• Achieve a state of calm
• Feel alive, invigorated, and ready for your day
• Reduce stress in tense situations
• Wind down at the end of the day
When you wake up in the morning, you may wish to do some quick deep breathing exercises to feel invigorated and ready to go. You can go outside, take a deep breath, and then breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
This breathing exercise can serve as a workout for your abdominal muscles and lungs. It can make you feel quite refreshed at the beginning of your day and provides a similar effect to taking a morning jog.
When you’re having a rough day at work or dealing with conflict, you can use a few calming breaths to help reduce stress. Sit back, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Hold it in and then let it out. Repeat the process until you feel relaxed.
Health Benefits of Breathing Exercises
If you just need a quick lift, then you’ll only need to spend a short time here and there doing some deep breathing exercises. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have a significant impact on your health and serenity, you can form a routine of several breathing exercises throughout your day.
Whatever the duration, breathing exercises may bring you many health benefits, including:
• Reduce your blood pressure
• Calm your nerves
• Tighten your core muscles
• Aid in better digestion
• Aid in the elimination of waste and toxins
• Bring you higher levels of energy
• Increase your awareness of the functions within your body
• Reduce stress
Your own results will depend upon the type and frequency of breathing exercises you use.
Anyone Can Benefit From Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can benefit virtually anyone. The only individuals who should take extreme caution are those with respiratory issues. Always check with your physician before attempting these exercises.
Nevertheless, sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the relaxing effects that deep breathing can provide. It’s an effective solution to reduce stress, bring you peace, and improve your life.