You might not realize it, but your breath has the power to unlock a world of health benefits. From lowering stress to improving sleep, there are many hidden benefits to focusing on your breathing from time to time. In this blog post, you will discover how focusing on your breath can improve your life in a number of ways. You’ll learn about three techniques that are particularly useful in unlocking some of the greatest potentials of breath-based practices. So keep reading, and begin breathing your way to a better life.
Conscious Breathing is the best antidote for Stress, Anxiety and Depression also known as "SAD syndrome"
Why is Breath Awareness so Important?
First, why should we even be aware of our breathing? Isn’t that a bit like paying attention to your heartbeat? While your heartbeat is something you’re probably aware of all the time, breath awareness is not something that you’re probably familiar with. There are two main reasons why being more aware of your breath has so many benefits for your health and your general well-being. The first is that being more mindful of your breathing has many positive effects on your autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system is responsible for all of the unconscious processes in your body, including your heartbeat, digestion, and breathing. Your breathing is particularly connected to your autonomic nervous system. It’s a process called coupling, which means that your breathing synchronizes with your heart rate. Therefore by coupling your breathing with your heartbeat, you can actually shape the way that your autonomic nervous system responds. The other main reason why being more aware of your breath as a practice has so many benefits is that it helps you to become more present at the moment. As a result, it also makes it easier to cope with stressful situations and feelings of anxiety.
The Importance of Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is a common component of many different kinds of meditation, yoga and mindfulness techniques. While it’s not completely necessary, it is a very useful thing to practice because there are so many benefits to breathing more deeply. When you breathe more deeply, you’re doing more than just bringing air into your lungs. You’re also bringing energy into your body, and when that energy is focused on your breath, it can have a powerful effect on your body and your mind. Deep breathing has been shown to have a wide variety of benefits: It can help to relieve stress and anxiety, improve your focus and concentration, reduce pain and help you to fall asleep. It’s a great practice to incorporate into your daily routine.
The Magic of 4-7-8 Breathing
One of the most well-known breathing techniques, the 4-7-8 breathing technique is designed to be used as a tool for relaxation. It’s actually a type of abdominal breathing, which is when you focus on the movement of your diaphragm rather than your chest. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is designed to be used when you feel stressed or anxious. By taking a few moments to focus on your breath, you can train your body and mind to become more relaxed. This type of breathing is particularly useful for beginners because it’s designed to be very easy to do. Here’s how to do the 4-7-8 breathing technique: Start by taking a deep breath through your nose for a count of four, expanding your abdomen as you breathe. Then hold your breath for a count of seven, followed by a controlled exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. This simple process will help to slow your heart rate and bring your body and mind back into a state of relaxation.
Morning Ritual: Morning Breath and Body Scans
The most important time to be mindful of your breathing is first thing in the morning. If you get into a daily practice of meditating or doing a breathing exercise first thing in the morning, you can make it easier to bring those practices into your everyday life. You can do many different types of meditation or breathing exercises at this time, but one technique that is particularly useful for many people is called a body scan. This is a practice of becoming mindful of every part of your body and allowing any tension or stress to flow out of your body. An ideal way to begin your day with a body scan would be to lie in bed and start with your toes. Breathe in and out of each toe, being mindful of any sensations that arise in each toe. Then move to your foot, your ankle, your leg, your knee and so on up your body until you reach your head. Once you reach your head, make your way back down again in reverse order. Take your time with this process, breathing deeply and being mindful of any sensations or thoughts that arise.
Savouring Silence: Silence Ritual for Rejuvenation
At a time when social media has made us more connected than ever, silence can seem more precious than ever. We all have moments when we crave more silence, especially when we’re feeling stressed or anxious. But very often, we don’t give ourselves space for silence and reflection. Some people have started to call for a “Silence Retreat”, where people can go and spend time in silence. If you don’t have the opportunity to spend a few days in silence in a retreat, you can also practice silence meditation at home. Silence meditation is a type of meditation in which you spend time in complete silence. This might be in a quiet room or even inside your own head. By bringing yourself into a place devoid of all external stimuli, you allow yourself to connect with your inner voice and your inner self more easily.
What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is a type of meditative practice that intentionally brings about psychological change by altering your breath. There are many different kinds of breathwork, but they all have the same concept at their core: you focus on your breathing and use it to bring about psychological changes. Breathwork has been practiced for thousands of years, and it is also often referred to as “controlled hyperventilation”. It can be used as a therapeutic tool to help people heal from trauma or bring about positive changes in their mental state. There are many different types of breathwork, and some of them are more extreme than others. If you’re new to breathwork or would like to try it out, it’s best to start with a less intense kind of breathwork before moving on to more intense practices.
Breathing to lower stress
When we feel stressed, our breathing often becomes shallower and faster, increasing the number of stress hormones circulating in our blood. When we are focused on our breath, we are able to use it as a tool to bring our stress levels back down again. When you feel stressed, take a few moments to pause and focus on your breathing. If your breathing is rapid and shallow, try to bring it back down to a more normal pace. Try to make your breathing as deep as possible, practicing abdominal breathing to bring down your stress levels. Another way to use your breath to lower stress is to practice a visualization exercise where you imagine yourself taking long, slow breaths. By doing this, you will bring your body back into a state of relaxation.
Breathing to improve your mood
Sometimes, even when we aren’t feeling stressed, our mood can affect how we breathe. When we’re feeling particularly low or sad, we often take rapid, shallow breaths. If you’re feeling down, try to slow down your breathing and make it as deep as you can. Longer, slower breaths have been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system responsible for bringing the body back into a state of relaxation. If you’re feeling particularly low, try to focus your breathing on a particular part of your body. Breathing deeply into your abdomen can help to activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
Breathing to sleep better
Poor sleep is a common problem that has many different causes. It can be difficult to sleep when you feel stressed or anxious, or when you’re feeling tired or run down. If you want to improve your sleep, try to use your breath as a tool to slow your body down and bring it into a state of relaxation. By slowing down your breathing, you can bring your body into a state of relaxation, which can help you to fall asleep more easily.
There is more to Breathwork and it can enhance your life in such a way that you can live, sleep and repeat freely.
"Breathing is life and a good life is what we all look for."