It’s no surprise that we’re all chronically stressed. Our world is faster-paced than ever before, and it only seems to be moving quicker and quicker by the day. The majority of adults report that chronic stress impacts their physical and mental health. High stress is proven to cause depression, anxiety, heart problems, and more. Therefore, learning to manage our stress is key to managing our health. It may be as easy as breathing, according to recent research. Certain breathwork patterns are known to shift our mental states and invoke calming emotions. When we’re happy, we breathe slowly and deeply. Therefore, breathing slowly and deeply during periods of stress can shift the body and mind from overdrive into a relaxed state. Using breathing techniques to de-stress is not only simple to implement into your daily routine; it’s backed by scientific research as an effective tool for stress reduction.
We take more than 8 million breaths each year. That said, most of us are dysfunctional breathers. What if there was a way to breathe efficiently and improve your health in the process? Controlled breathing exercises offer a moment of mindfulness that provides numerous health benefits, such as emotional regulation, improved posture, and a quick metabolism boost. The practice of mindful breathing dates back to ancient times and was appreciated by Eastern cultures. However, scientists are just now beginning to break down the details that explain why breathwork has such a profound effect on the human body. The benefits of practicing controlled breathing are seemingly endless. By just taking a moment to breathe each day, you’ll feel better, think better, and perform better; no matter the task at hand.
The phrase “take a deep breath” may hold more power than most of us understand. In the battle between belly breathing vs. chest breathing, belly breathing is the clear champion. But why? Slow, deep breathing lowers cortisol and blood pressure levels, helping us relax. Deep breathing also helps improve our posture, which is known to reduce the back pain so many of us suffer from. By understanding what the diaphragm is and where it’s located, we can harness the power of diaphragmatic breathing to strengthen our posture, improve our breathing, and destress from the daily grind. But how do you make the switch from chest breathing to belly breathing? If you’re a mouth breather, it may be more challenging for you than necessary. That’s why nasal breathing is the hidden key to achieving proper belly breathing as part of your daily routine.
The dreaded afternoon slump gets in the way of productivity for most of us. Whether it’s work that needs completing, chores that need tackling, or moments that you need to be alert while watching your kids, fatigue can get the better of us and zap our energy. Thankfully, breathing exercises have been shown to help beat fatigue and increase energy, giving us the “pick me up” we need to tackle whatever the day throws our way. Most of us don’t breathe efficiently throughout the day. In fact, most people breathe through the mouth, which zaps our energy and forces our bodies to work harder than they need to. Breathing exercises, which focus on optimal breathing and slowing down our breath rate, correct our oxygen exchange and bring the body back to its peak operating state.
We all breathe to live, and none of us give much thought to the way we do it. But did you know that improper breathing can worsen symptoms of anxiety, while proper breathing can reduce anxiety altogether? Panic attacks and stress worsen our breathing patterns.
If you breathe through your mouth, you could be on the fast track to high blood pressure and a whole host of other problems. By using these nasal breathing exercises instead, you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers stress and decreases blood pressure.