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The Power of Deep Breathing

Posted on 17 March 2016

Breathing deep is joy! 

Ahhhhh, take a deep breath and it feels so good!  It is the very essence of life.

 

 

When we panic or get excited our breathing becomes quick and shallow. In fact, many of us are simply shallow breathers all the time!  Listen to yourself and pay attention - are you breathing shallow all the time?

 

How and what we breathe is directly associated with our health and well-being. A clinical study reported in Science News that maintaining vital lung capacity can extend life. In other words, deep breathing can make you live longer. There are several other health benefits to taking just 10 minutes a day to breathe as deeply in and out as you can.


The Benefits of Deep Breathing


Taking deep breaths for several minutes slowly releases endorphins in the body. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller. It gives you a feeling of over-all well-being and cheerfulness and diminishes the production of stress hormones. . For this reason, deep breathing is recommended for panic and anxiety attacks as well as child birth and stressful situations.

 

Deep breathing causes the diaphragm to extend and distend farther than normal. This movement and added oxygen increase blood flow and help to remove toxins from the organs. The extra oxygen also creates energy to carry out the body’s functions.

 

Deep breathing has the ability to affect diseases and afflictions like asthma and heart disease, according to Mladen Golubic, a physician in the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine. Deep breathing is so important it is a mainstay of Yoga. The Yogic discipline of Pranayama is mastering the art of deep breathing. Deep breathing exercises have been proven to alter the pH of the blood and change blood pressure levels.


Meditation


Coupling your deep breathing with meditation can add to the beneficial effects. Meditation is simply focusing all attention on the breath going in and out of the body. It isn’t as easy to master as it first seems. It is common for the mind to wander when first practicing meditation. Practice for at least 10 minutes at a time every day and even more than once per day if time allows.


How to Breathe Deep


The deep breathing technique in itself is very simple. Simply breathe in through your nose for six counts, hold your breath for three counts and then breathe out through your nose for six counts, before beginning again. Concentrate on the rush of air and the path it follows through your body. Pay attention to the rise and fall of the diaphragm. Breathe deeply and fully as slowly as you can. Feel as your stomach goes down and then your lungs deflate.


Deep breathing has been proven through ample research to be beneficial to the body and mind. It takes very little time to execute while imparting multiple advantages. A venture into the world of deep breathing can be successful using either Yogic practices or a more independent approach. The key is just to get started on this amazing journey.

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