Breathing is the foundation of life. It’s how we get oxygen into our bodies and how we release carbon dioxide, but it’s also much more than that. Breathing can be used to calm your mind and body, reduce stress, and even improve your health. With a few simple breathing exercises, you can learn how to breathe correctly and reap all these benefits for yourself!
What Is Breathing & Why Do Breathing Exercises?
Breathing is the act of inhaling and exhaling air. Without it you would die. So don’t forget to breathe!
Jokes aside. Why is breathing important beside the fact of keeping us alive?
Breathing is a natural process that we all do without thinking about it, but how we breathe affects how much oxygen enters our bodies—and that in turn affects how well we feel physically and mentally. If you’re feeling tired or stressed out (or both), there’s a good chance that your breathing habits could use some improvement! But don’t worry; learning new breathing techniques is easy once you know what to look for!
When we are stressed or anxious it can become irregular. Regular breathing exercises can help you relax, reduce stress and improve your health. These exercises help you manage your stress levels and improve your focus. They also reduce anxiety and depression by regulating the brain chemicals that play a role in these conditions.
Breathing exercises can help you sleep better by reducing the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep, increasing the quality of your sleep and helping prevent insomnia. They also help prevent snoring – another common problem that impacts both your sleep and that of those around you!
Furthermore, these exercises also increase energy levels by increasing oxygen intake through deep breathing techniques.
What Is Bad Breathing?
People who are worried often breathe quickly and shallowly, straight from the chest.
The body’s oxygen and carbon dioxide balances are altered by this kind of breathing, also known as thoracic or chest breathing, which results in an elevated heart rate, vertigo, tightened muscles, and other physical symptoms. The insufficient oxygenation of your blood may cause a stress response, which exacerbates anxiety and panic episodes.
The parasympathetic nervous system, a component of the peripheral nervous system that controls heartbeat, blood flow, breathing, and digestion, is stimulated by diaphragmatic or deep breathing, on the other hand.
Faster Recovery With Breathing Exercises
Before you leave the gym or after intense practice, use post-workout breathing techniques to calm down and enter the “rest and digest” recovery stage. The ideal approach to breathing after exercising is to concentrate on controlling your breath rather than trying to inhale as much air as you can.
The majority of people don’t immediately enter a recovery stage following a workout. Instead, their bodies continue to respond in a symphatic fashion(high stress), and stay in “fight ro flight” state. You can unwind using this breathing technique if you’re feeling stressed. It is a down regulator, which causes a parasympathetic reaction. Use breathing exercises to aid your body’s recovery after each workout.
Levels Of Breathing
There are four levels of breathing:
Level 1 – Breathing without awareness. In this level, you are just breathing as if a machine is doing it for you. There is no control over your breath and it’s not something that requires much attention. This is similar to the way we breathe when we sleep or when we are unconscious. For example, after an accident or surgery where the body needs rest, it will naturally go into this state of minimal breathing since there is less need for oxygen at that time.
Level 2 – Breathing with awareness: This means that you’re aware of what your breath feels like and how it flows in and out through nostrils or mouth (depending on how often you switch between both sides). You can also focus on where each part of your lungs expands/contracts during inhaling/exhaling process to feel more aware about yourself being alive by simply being able to breathe!
Level 3 – Controlled but relaxed breathing: This means that you are still aware of your breath, but now have more control over it. You can breathe in and out for a certain amount of time before stopping to rest again.
Level 4 – Controlled rhythmic breathing. You can repeat a certain pattern of breathing over and over again without getting tired. Patterns such as breathing 3 seconds in and out, or 5 seconds in and out. By doing so, it will help your body relax even more because you don’t have to think about how much time has passed since last breath; instead, you can focus on something else!
Easy Way To Control Your Breathing
- Breathe in through your nose.
- Breathe out through your mouth.
- Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 2 counts and then breathe out for 8 counts (or whatever pace you find comfortable).
- Don’t force it; just do it naturally. Repeat this cycle 10 times in a row, take a break for about 30 seconds or so, then repeat another 10 times or until you feel relaxed
Lie down on the floor or bed with knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart if you need support under them. Place one hand on your abdomen just below the rib cage and feel it rise as you breathe in deeply through your nose and down into your belly area where it feels like an empty balloon expanding outwardly as much as possible without straining yourself. As soon as all of the air has been taken into this area hold that position until no more air can be held. Then let everything relax again so that there will be room for another breath before repeating several times during one session (every other day.
Connected Breathing Exercise
Connected breathing is one of the most basic and effective breathing techniques for beginners. It involves inhaling and exhaling through your nose, with a relaxed mouth, as you slowly count to five in your head. The goal of connected breathing is to take deep, slow breaths throughout the day. Doing this will naturally slow down your heart rate, lower blood pressure and calm you down. This is how you perform the exercise.
Place one hand on your chest and another on your stomach (or where ever feels comfortable). This helps you feel more in tune with yourself as well as help understand what areas are being affected by the breath movements.
Inhale through your nose for 5 seconds (counting in your head). Exhale through mouth for 5 seconds (again counting). You should be able to feel a slight tension at first while trying this technique but after practicing it over time it will become easier! The goal here isn’t necessarily speed but rather getting into a habit of good breathing habits so they’ll become second nature once again.
7-11 Breath Exercise for Beginners
The 7-11 breath exercise is a great way to start your journey towards better breathing. Try this exercise at least once a day, but try to do it every day if you can:
Inhale for 7 seconds.
Hold your breath for 11 seconds (the actual time may vary depending on how long you were able to inhale).
Exhale slowly through the mouth for 7 seconds.
Abdominal Breathing Exercise
Lie down on your back, or sit up straight in a chair with both feet on the floor.
Breathe in through your nose, then breathe out through your mouth. Pay attention to the feeling of your belly rising and falling as you breathe in and out.
Repeat this cycle several times until you feel comfortable with it. It might take a few minutes before you’re synchronized enough to be able to do this exercise consistently without being distracted by thoughts about other things. Thoughts like: “I should probably make dinner soon,” or “It’s time for my yoga class”). Once you feel ready, continue inhaling through your nose while counting backwards from five. Then exhale through pursed lips for as long as it takes you to count back up from one hundred fifty-six. Keep doing this for 5-10 minutes each day until it becomes second nature—you can do this anywhere!
If you want to improve your health and reduce stress, learning how to breathe correctly is a great place to start. You can begin by taking some deep breaths right now and observing how they feel in your body. Then try out some of the exercises mentioned above or seek out a therapist who can help guide you through them.