Breathing, it sounds so simple, but truly (at least for me) it’s something that I have to really think about doing consciously… and I don’t mean just breathing to keep me going, but I mean really and truly deep breathing.
Breathing provides air to our lungs and life to our bodies by distributing oxygen for fuel all around to our tissues and muscles; it is therefore so crucial to overall health and wellness, and when done deeper and more frequently can certainly help decrease stress and improve health too.
Although breathing is “autonomic,” which means we do it without thinking, there is also the aspect of breathing consciously that is so key to health and that’s what I’m talking about here; it’s that conscious breath that we need to focus on, and here’s why.
5 reasons to breathe deeper…
- Relieves stress: This is perhaps the biggest benefit that I have found with practicing deep breathing. Deep breathing can help relieve tension, can help clear the mind, can also help us let things go more quickly, and can help promote stress relief; don’t forget that stress is something that can raise blood pressure, disrupt sleep and can also do so much more negative stuff over time to our bodies and our health. Taking a few minutes (or even seconds) to close our eyes and breathe can really help to promote stress relief and overall relaxation as well.
- Clearer head: Being an air-head isn’t usually thought of as a good thing, but having more air in your head can certainly be a good thing for most of us. Not only does breathing help to promote delivery of oxygen to our tissues, muscles and cells, but because it can help to slow us down or even stop us in our tracks to take account, it’s a good thing. Taking account of ourselves, our bodies, minds and what we need and want in the moment, can really help us to make better decisions and perhaps even be kinder in the process.
- Muscle relaxing: We can hold a heck of a lot of tension in our muscles. Tension in our muscles can make us stiff, inflexible, and frankly- super stressed out. The power of deep breathing is really powerful for helping to release tight muscles- especially when stretching as well. Taking deep breaths can not only make your inner-self feel calmer, but it can also help your muscles to really relax too- a major plus.
- Better relationships: This goes for partners, bosses, friends and others. The clearer our heads, the calmer we are, the more rationally and logically we think, and the less reactive we are. I’m not sure how much more explanation is needed- bottom line, the more you breathe the calmer you are, and the better you’ll (hopefully) react to friends, coworkers, partners and others in your life.. so get breathing!
- Improved sleep: Deep breathing before bed can really help to promote a restful nights sleep. This is because it can help to ease anxiety, provide stress relief and promote restfulness- all things that are absolutely essential for a good-night’s sleep. Practicing closing your eyes, and taking slow, deep breaths can help to quiet your mind and promote restful sleep before bed. Give it a try!
Want more mindfulness and yoga? Check out 3 Active and Calming Yoga Poses right here!