It’s something you do between 12 and 20 times every minute and between 17,000 and 30,000 times per day. We’re talking about breathing — and if you’re not congested or ill, you’re probably unaware you’re doing it.
However, the fact that most people don’t give they’re breathing a second thought may mean that you’re missing out on something that could have a significant impact on numerous elements of your body’s health and welfare. Here are four strategies to improve your physical and mental health by using various breathing techniques.
- Begin your morning with this breathing method – yes, even before your first cup of coffee. This morning breathing method might help you maintain a relaxed state of mind throughout the day.
- Straighten your spine and lean forward at the waist. Slightly bend your knees and allow your arms to hang limply, close to the floor.
- Inhale softly and deeply, then slowly roll yourself to a standing position, lifting your head last.
- As you return to your original position, slowly exhale.
- Repeat with a slight stretch of your muscles.
- Breathing Techniques for Pain in the Side
Many athletes, particularly runners, have significant side discomfort referred to as side stitches. Side stitches are essentially diaphragmatic spasms, and like other types of muscular cramps, they are believed to arise due to the strain involved with exercise-induced rapid breathing. The good news is that the more proficient you get at exercise, the less likely you are to suffer from debilitating side effects.
However, practicing deep “belly breathing” while jogging, in particular, can assist lessen stress on the diaphragm’s supporting ligaments and alleviate side stitches. Belly breathing simply refers to breathing through your stomach rather than your chest. Breathing via the chest is connected with shallow breathing, whereas breathing through the abdomen is associated with deep, productive breathing.
Before you and your jogging buddy hit the trails, here’s how to learn how to belly breathe. Simply lie on your stomach and place a hand on it. Take a deep breath. If you notice your hand rising and falling slightly in response to your breathing, you’re belly breathing! If your chest moves instead of your stomach, you are not breathing deeply enough and should change your technique.
While jogging, maintain a deep breath and, now and then, take a very deep inhale and forcefully exhale, expelling all the air from your lungs. Drop your shoulders, shake your arms, and relax as you exhale. Continue your run by taking another deep breath.
If you’re accustomed to reaching for the coffee pot first thing in the morning, give this a try. The Stimulating Breath Technique is a caffeine-free method of providing an extra boost to your body and mind.
This ancient breathing technique is frequently utilized in yoga and promotes the diaphragm. It is also called the “Bellows Breath,” as it alerts the body to its surroundings. It is said to re-energize the body, clear the mind, and “clear away the clouds.”
How to do it: Maintain a lofty posture and relax your shoulders. Maintain a closed mouth and rapidly inhale through your nose with quick, short breaths (exhale quickly). Try it for about ten seconds. Take a 15- to 30-second break to allow your breathing to return to normal. Rep many times more.
Conduct a Google search for relaxation breathing techniques,’ and you’ll find a million people advising you on a million different ways to achieve serenity through breathing – enough to stress anyone out. What are we to make of this? The truth is that breathing can indeed assist in alleviating tension. This is how.
While many of us unwind in front of the television at night, we are not successfully managing stress or mitigating its negative effects. To accomplish this, we must initiate the body’s natural relaxation reaction. The relaxation response is a physiological condition of profound relaxation that modifies the physical and emotional reactions to stress (e.g., decreases in heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing, and muscle tension).
However, how can you trigger the body’s natural relaxation response? The American Institute of Stress believes the answer is straightforward. Abdominal breathing that is focused. As previously stated, abdominal breathing (or belly breathing) enhances oxygen delivery to the brain and activates the neurological system, resulting in the sense of serenity.
Practicing focused breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day can help tremendously with stress and anxiety reduction. And we are not referring to a 30-minute nap. The purpose of focused breathing is to reconnect with your body and to be present and aware of the sensation of your anxieties fading away.
The AIS recommends numerous breathing strategies, including the Quieting Response, a six-second exercise that combines visualization and deep breathing to alleviate stress effectively.
With your eyes and mouth closed, smile inwardly and relax the tension in your shoulders. This is a strong muscle relaxation in the areas of the body where the majority of people retain their muscles stiff. Consider the soles of your feet to be pierced. While inhaling deeply, envision hot air traveling through these holes, gently ascending your legs, passing through your tummy, and filling your lungs.
Relax your muscles in sequence as the heated air travels up your body. When you exhale, reverse the visualization to “see” the same holes in your feet emitting hot air—repetition throughout the day as needed to maintain a sense of calm and relaxation.
Numerous professionals in various areas, from doctors and therapists to yogis and athletic trainers, strongly believe in the benefits of deep, conscious breathing. While these strategies may have varying results on individuals, you can never go wrong by pausing to relax the mind and take a breath.