There are many benefits that come from implementing deep breathing exercises into your daily routine. Whether you’re looking to manage stress, improve your respiratory-related ailments, enhance your meditation practices or receive a number of other positive health effects, diaphragmatic breathing may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Here’s a look at some of the wondrous results that can come from such a technique.
1. Aiding Relaxation
Deep breathing exercises can help your mind and body relax, enabling you to loosen up and put your body at rest. Often you might not even notice how tense and stiff you are, but taking a deep breath in through the nose and exhaling out of your mouth can help you relax your shoulders and release the tightness throughout your arms and abdomen.
While you’re taking a bath, listening to classical music or are resting in bed, try some relaxing abdominal breathing exercises in order to optimize your comfort.
2. Reducing Stress
Focusing on your breath is a great destressor that can be done anytime, anywhere. If you’re on a plane flying over the ocean, if you’re waiting at the doctor’s office for some lab results to come in or if you’re in the middle of a tense work meeting, you can silently take a deep breath and gently let it go.
Because we all breathe anyway, you can seamlessly integrate abdominal breathing patterns regardless of where you’re at. As long as you don’t toss in any unnecessary sighs and noises, choosing to implement your stress-relieving trick can be your little secret.
3. Improving Your Respiratory System
Your respiratory system can suffer when shallow breaths are all that you ever take. Particularly for people with respiratory problems including asthma and bronchitis, consciously taking deep breaths during a moment of panic can help your lungs receive the oxygen they need to function properly. If you have serious respiratory problems, make sure you’re working with a medical professional to address your situation.
4. Reducing Pain
Because deep breathing can help relax your body and help you cope with anxiety, the act of breathing in deeply can actually help take the edge off of certain kinds of medical conditions including tension headaches and chronic pain. In fact, one of the first steps taught in managing chronic pain is often how to incorporate abdominal breathing and meditation techniques into a patient’s daily life.
5. Enhancing Meditation and Mindfulness
Helping you to stay in the moment and not overwhelmed by the cares of the world, breathing exercises can play a huge role in the effectiveness of meditation and mindfulness practices.
As a therapeutic technique, managing your breathing is formally a part of physical training programs like yoga and informally a part of various other activities designed to help you connect with your inner strength or with an external higher power.
6. Enhancing Your Exercise Routine
A focus on your breath can help you in endurance sports like running, assist you in strength training activities like lifting weights and even improve your experience when participating in low-intensity picks like walking.
Expanding your diaphragm, relaxing your muscles and keeping your body on course are all benefits of breathing deeply. When you’re trying to figure out how to increase your stamina and physical potential, don’t forget about diaphragmatic breathing.
7. Releasing Toxins
Through exhaling, you’re able to release toxins from your body. With deep breathing, you can actually improve this detoxifying process by letting out a big dose of carbon dioxide all at once.
When shallow breathing is all you do, not enough toxins are allowed to escape so these irritants can end up plaguing you internally throughout your body. Breathing also helps improve cellular regeneration for an added bonus.
8. Providing a Distraction
Sometimes when you’re in an unpleasant situation, there’s not that much to help you take your mind off of your circumstances. If someone else’s baby is crying on the bus, if two people are having a fight in front of you or if you’re getting ready for a flu shot, you can distract yourself by focusing on your breathing.
Breathing is a no brainer, but deep breathing requires focus and attention. If you’re stuck somewhere you don’t want to be, help pass the time and keep your mind at ease by running through your favorite set of deep breathing exercises.
9. Giving You Time to Reflect
Just like counting to ten can help you calm down before you say something mean that you’ll regret, doing a set of diaphragmatic breathing exercises can help you take a moment to gather your thoughts before you say something hurtful while coming from a place of anger.
When you’re mad, hurt or otherwise feeling emotionally charged, it can be really helpful to your relationships for you to take a step back and gather your senses instead of going off on a rampage.
10. Helping Your Body Reset
A few belly breaths can sometimes get your body back on track. Whether you swallowed some water strangely, have a cough that feels stuck in your throat, can’t stop hiccuping or are experiencing some other nasal-throat sensation that’s not quite right, you may be able to help reboot your system through some abdominal breathing exercises. These exercises can also help enhance digestion, circulation and your immune system.
11. Helping You Recognize You’re Alive
There’s something so meaningful about being able to take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Breathing exercises help remind you that you’re still alive.
Even when your circumstances are less than ideal and you’re faced with overwhelming odds, the gift of life is still a gift. The next time you feel discouraged, focus on your breath and remember that you’re still a viable life force with a limitless potential to do good.
Even if you feel like you have nothing else to be thankful for, remember that “it’s good to be alive.” I have a picture hanging on my wall with that statement on it and whenever I’m having a hard time in life, I can look at that piece of décor and take in a deep breath. That simple act helps me have perspective and remember that I’m blessed. Hopefully, that sentiment can be a pick-me-up in your time of need as well.