I used to work with an amazing woman. She was a retired flight attendant to took up a job with kids because it made her happy. One day, we were sitting and working together when she told me that I needed to breathe deeper. She explained to me that in her travels, she studied Eastern medicine in China and that breathing more deeply helped to keep us healthy.
I had never paid much attention to my breathing before that, but I soon realized how shallow of a breath I had. So ever since, I try to be mindful about pausing to breathe, and I have definitely felt a difference.
Deep breathing helps to:
- Tame stress. Deep breathing has made the biggest difference in my stress levels. And I’m sure you’ve heard it before, to take a deep breath when you feel stressed or angry or overwhelmed.
- Relaxes the body. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is basically our bodies healing and repairing.
- Detox. Our bodies use the lymphatic system to clear out toxins. Breathing, in addition to exercise, help this process out.
- Digest better. Aside from calming our bodies, which helps with digestion, deep breathing physically massages our gut. A true deep breath lowers the diaphragm into our abdomen, aiding in circulation and oxygenating our organs.
- Relieve pain. When we take a deep breath, we release endorphins into our bloodstream, which are natural pain relievers.
- Think clearly. A few deep breaths get much needed oxygen to our brain. Add in the clarity-induced calm that it helps with too, and it’s easier to think.
Slow and deep breathing is super easy and can be done anywhere: sitting in traffic, working at a desk, while exercising, during yoga, in the shower, while walking, etc. Here’s how to start deep breathing:
- Breath in through your nose, slowly.
- Use your diaphragm to take air into your lungs, pushing down towards your belly.
- Relax your body to get that oxygen everywhere.
- Release the breath slowly through your mouth.