We’re all breathing, no doubt. But have you ever stopped and wondered if you’re doing it right? Only because your body does it involuntarily, doesn’t mean you are doing it right.
Even in Indian culture, the importance of breathing has always been highlighted in terms of Pranayam –
“The way you breathe is the way you think”
Today, let’s understand the dynamics of breathing right (Deep Breathing), to make sure that we are taking in all the required oxygen and positivity and the same is supplied to our mind, body and soul.
What is the correct way?
The right way of breathing is DEEP BREATHING. Also known as Diaphragmatic or belly breathing is what we should aim for, where every deep breath goes straight to the lungs and fills the body with oxygen. When you breathe deeply, the air coming in through your nose fully fills your lungs, and the lower belly rises.
Deep breathing benefits both physical and mental health. It alleviates stress, improves confidence, and helps create better blood circulation.
Why is it important to breathe right?
If we do not breathe right, it limits the diaphragm’s range of motion, the lowest part of the lungs doesn’t get a full share of oxygenated air and that can make you feel short of breath and anxious. This leads to multiple complications such as muscle cramps, lack of oxygen to vital organs, headaches, slow regeneration of cells, decreased brain activity, etc.It therefore becomes very crucial that your breath work is right to ensure your body gets all the needed fresh oxygen.
Benefits of Breathing Exercises
If you observed that you only breath till your lungs are full and breathe out, you’re not doing the required “Belly Breathing”. Today, it’s likely that you use just a small portion of your potential lung capacity with each breath. The average adult takes fourteen to fifteen breaths per minute and utilizes only one-third of their lung capacity with each breath, which leads to increased blood pressure and carbon dioxide build up. This can be easily corrected and your pattern can be set right with mindful breathing exercises. Let’s explore all the benefits you can reap –
- Lower Anxiety – Breathing exercises can help to reverse or mitigate the body’s natural reaction to stressful situations, markedly decreasing the rate at which cortisol is released into your system.
- Nervous System and Cardiovascular System Balance – The brain, spinal cord, and nerves receive increased oxygenation and are more nourished. Breathing exercises also make the lungs more efficient and increase circulation.
- Toxin Release – Deep and slow breaths increase the flow of oxygen traveling through your bloodstream. As a result, more oxygen molecules attach to haemoglobin in your red blood cells. This helps your body in the metabolizing of nutrients and vitamins and utilize the life force to the maximum to release toxins.
- Healthier Body – By focusing on improving our breathing, we can elevate our energy and physical body for optimal health. Breathing brings vital life force into our body, helping to fuel it which in turn helps maintain the health of our physical body, immune system and electrical system.
- Heightened Focus – Increased oxygen flow to the brain allows it to function at its optimal levels, which in turn aids decision making and ability to focus on tasks.
- Calmer Mind – Deep breathing triggers the release of pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain, simultaneously improving feelings of well-being while also providing pain-relief.
- Controlled Appetite – A calmer mind is also known to binge-eat less, hence leading you to a better diet. 5 minutes of deep breathing before a meal has proven to control your appetite and eliminate emotional eating patterns.
- Healthier and Youthful Skin and Hair – Since breathing right improves the blood circulation, eliminates toxins and also drains lymphatic system, it helps clear skin and provide nourishment to hair in the process by increasing fresh oxygen flow and collagen production. Breathing deeply also slows the aging process by increasing secretion of anti-aging hormones.
Getting it right with a Routine
It may be difficult for you initially to get it right. However, by setting a routine to practice your breathing exercises, you can easily get it right –
- Choose a special place where you can sit (or lie down) comfortably and quietly.
- Don’t try too hard. That may just cause you to tense up.
- Don’t be too passive, either. The key to eliciting the relaxation response lies in shifting your focus from stressors to deeper, calmer rhythms — and having a focal point is essential.
- Try to practice once or twice a day, always at the same time, in order to enhance the sense of ritual and establish a habit.
- Try to practice at least 10–20 minutes each day.
Hope this elicits the importance of breathing right. If you have any doubts or questions, drop a comment below and I will be happy to help you out!