“She took a deep breath and let it go.”
~ Sylvia Plath
How to Breathe Right for Health
Deep breathing techniques are one of the easiest ways to improve health. The simple gift of taking in oxygen and controlling breath has a positive effect on the mental and physical health of the body. If you have yet to take the time to add deep breathing into your routine here are 6 Ways Deep Breathing Helps You
1. Aids Digestion and Assimilation of Food
When the body perceives stress (fight or flight) chemicals are produced and digestion in compromised. By calming the nervous system, deep breathing supports optimal digestion.
2. Supports the Nervous System
Deep breathing has a calming affect on the nervous system. It is an effective tool for copping with natural stress responses. These responses release cortisol, a stress hormone that increase blood glucose and puts fat on your belly!
3. Increases Lung Capacity
As you learn to hold your breath and take in longer, fuller breaths your lungs will naturally increase in capacity and efficiency.
4. Supports the Cardiovascular System
More efficient lungs mean an increase in oxygen being diffused into your blood supply. Your heart won’t have to work as hard to deliver oxygen to the tissues.
5. Supports Metabolic Function
By increasing oxygenation, oxygen burns up the excess fat more efficiently. If you are underweight, the extra oxygen feeds the starving tissues and glands.
6. Elevates Your Mood
Breathing increase pleasure-inducing neuro chemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical pain
To help you get started I’ve provided you one of my top exercises. Its simple, effective, and feels so darn good. Just for 10 mins, let the struggles go and be mindful of the breath.
The So Hum Breathing Meditation
The So Hum deep breathing exercise is a simple introduction to deep breathing and meditation. It doesn’t take much effort or time.
- Ensure clothing is loose and comfortable. Sit in a position that is comfortable and you wont fidget
- Close your eyes and breath in and out relaxing all your muscles
- Focus now on your breathing. Imagine the air filling your lungs from the bottom up.
- Listen to the sound your breath makes as it enters and exits the body
- As you breath in imagine the sound entering is “SO”
- As you exhale imagine the sound exiting is “HUM”
- It is a gentle and regular rhythm and sound
- Try to let the sound of your breath fill your awareness (it is your focus). Really focus on the “SO” and “HUM”
- If your mind wonders and you begin to think of other things, gently bring your awareness back to your breath.
- Practice this for up to 30 min. per day
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.