Profound Benefits of Deep Breathing
An average individual tends to breathe at least 12 to 20 breaths in a minute while at rest. Exercise, talking, thinking, stress, walking at a fast pace, and working can all increase the number of breaths taken per minute. So, an approximate number of 30,000 breaths is what the count comes down to in a day. That tends to be the number of involuntary activities that a human being does which can however be converted into a semi-voluntary activity with just a bit of practice. This method of having control over your breath is done by relaxation techniques and deep breathing. While you do go through a lot of thought, you need to try and pause those thoughts to focus on your breathing.
The deep breathing benefits can be provided as follows:
- The deeper you tend to breathe the more there is an alkalizing effect there is on your body. However, when you take shallow breaths you tend to store some carbon dioxide in your system which gives an acidic effect. Apart from this, taking a single deep breath before you bite into your food will also help improve your gut health.
- Deep breathing also allows more fresh oxygen to keep flowing in your blood which eases the pumping of your heart and also helps purification of your blood.
- Fat molecules also tend to break down into carbon dioxide and water. Fat is hence removed with the help of the air that you breathe out which is why the deep breathing technique is also beneficial in fat loss. It can also be removed via water through urine and sweat.
- Deep breathing benefits also include helping to relieve pain as it helps trigger endorphins which make you feel good and combat pain. This can hence also be said to be one of the mental health benefits of deep breathing.
What is deep breathing or mindful breathing?
Deep breathing or mindful breathing is a technique in which you pay attention to the sensation of the breath that goes in and comes out of your body. This also means that you notice the breath and check how and where it is in your body without exactly trying to change it. There are also a lot of benefits of breathing exercises.
Mindful breathing makes use of big breaths and controls the length of your breath. This is done in order to get good sleep and a state of relaxation whether you are meditating or are under hypnosis. Mindful breathing also further teaches how to focus on being mindful while improving emotional well-being.
How does deep breathing help calm the mind?
When you go through a stressful condition your body tends to think that it is under attack and it relies on the primal instincts to survive. This leads to heart pounding and palm sweating along with breath races. This is your body’s fight or flight response mechanism. The deep breathing technique however helps you to solve such stressful conditions as it summons your parasympathetic nervous system while also helping stimulate relaxation to return everything to equilibrium. Hence mental health benefits of deep breathing tend to affect both mental health and emotional well-being. Once you start deep breathing you will find that your heart rate goes down, you take in more oxygen and your mind also starts to slow down and start to think.
How to deep breathe the right way?
Deep breathing is one of the respiration exercises that need to be done slowly and gently. Remember to fill in your abdomen and not your chest. One of the ways to ensure that you are doing this is by placing one hand on your stomach and the other one on your chest. When you breathe deeply the hand on your stomach will start to rise. Try to be aware of the breath that you take along with your heartbeat and also to release any tension in your body. Sometimes it becomes easier if you lie down or sit down on a chair comfortably.
Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief
Diaphragmatic breathing quite commonly also known as belly breathing, this technique helps to improve the usage of your diaphragm. Initially, you may feel tired to use this technique however later on it becomes more natural as you practice.
- To perform diaphragmatic breathing, lie down on your back with your knees slightly bent and your head on a pillow
- You may now place a pillow under your knees for support
- Place one hand on your rib cage such that you check the movement of your diaphragm and the other on your upper chest
- Now slowly start inhaling through your nose and feel your stomach pressing into your hand
- Keep your other hand as still as you can
- Exhale using pursed lips and tighten your abdominal muscles while keeping your upper hand completely still
Lion’s breath is a great deep breathing technique that can be used to relieve any chest in both your face and chest. It is also known as Lion’s pose or Simhasana in Sanskrit.
- Sit in a comfortable seated position
- Press your palms against your knees while your fingers are spread wide
- Inhale deeply through your nose while your eyes are wide
- At the same time try to keep your mouth wide open ad stick out your tongue such that you bring down the tip toward your chin
- Contract the muscles in the front of your throat and as you exhale out through your mouth make a “haa” sound
- You can gaze at the space between your eyebrows or the tip of your nose
- Do this breath about 2 to 3 times
Alternate nostril breathing
This type of deep breathing technique is also called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. It is hence one of the best relaxation techniques and deep breathing exercises that you include to find the benefits of breathing exercises.
- Choose a comfortable seated position
- Now lift your hand toward your nose and press down both your first and middle fingers while leaving the other fingers extended.
- After an exhale you can now use your right thumb to gently close your right nostril
- Inhale through your left nostril and then close your left nostril with your right fingers
- Release your thumb and now exhale through your right nostril
- Inhale through your right nostril and then close this nostril
- Release your fingers to open the left nostril and exhale through the same side
The sitali breath technique is a great way to lower your body temperature and relax your mind. This works as one of the best relaxation techniques and deep breathing forms as it helps achieve a better state of mind. It also has a lot of breathwork benefits when involved in meditation practice.
- Start with a seated position
- Stick out your tongue and curl your tongue such that you bring both the outer edges together. If your tongue can’t do this, just purse your lips
- Inhale through your mouth
- Exhale through your nose
Humming bee breath
This is one of the most unique respiration exercises that provides instant calmness to the mind and body. It is especially soothing around your forehead. It also helps you with meditation practice.
- Start with a comfortable seated position
- Close your eyes and relax your face
- Place your first fingers on the tragus cartilage that will partially cover the ear canal
- Inhale and gently press your fingers into the cartilage as you exhale
- Keeping your mouth closed makes a loud humming sound
- Continue for as long as you feel comfortable
Frequently asked questions
- Can deep breathing be done by kids?
Deep breathing tends to bring more oxygen into your bloodstream and open up the capillaries. It is hence more beneficial in children.
- Are there any disadvantages of deep breathing?
As you take deep breaths, you might activate your chest and neck muscles while also triggering the sympathetic system and achieving a state of increased arousal.
- How long should one do deep breathing?
Initially, you can start to breathe for 10 minutes and then once you feel comfortable you can start working up to 15 to 20 minutes.