Prepared by: Tamryn Burgess, R.H.N.| honestlyholistic.com
If we asked you what we recommend as the number one tool to immediately start experiencing relief from anxiety and stress, not to mention improve your overall health and well-being, would you know the answer?
Many people sit and mull this over, not realizing that the tool we are talking about is one that is readily and easily accessible to all of us, yes even you, right now!
It’s not something you have to buy, it’s not the latest trending product. Any ideas yet?
We are talking about your breath. Your big, beautiful breath that once tapped into, can truly transform your entire life. Many people may raise a skeptical eyebrow, after all, you breathe all day long, yet you may still be dealing with much stress in your life.
This is where deep breathing comes in. Once you learn how to breathe properly, into your belly, rather than your chest, you will not believe the positive changes that will suddenly start to happen in your life. Keep reading to learn just how incredible a daily deep breathing ritual can be and how you can start reaping the benefits of deep breathing!
How a deep breathing practice can help detoxify your system and start to improve your health
A few deep breaths every day can immediately help start to improve your overall health and mood as it provides a full body detox.
One of the best benefits of deep breathing is it can help to stimulate lymphatic flow throughout the body, encouraging the release of any accumulated toxins that may have been contributing to inflammation, which in turn contributes to health issues.
Reduces stress by lowering cortisol levels
Cortisol, our body’s stress hormone, runs rampant when we are under severe stress. It certainly has its place and plays many important functions, including controlling blood sugar, reducing inflammation, balancing metabolism and to aid in memory formulation.
However, when you are chronically stressed, and your cortisol levels become too high, internal inflammation may increase and this can contribute to all sorts of symptoms, including brain fog, fatigue, restlessness, and many other anxiety symptoms.
One of the benefits of deep breathing is it can help to instantly lower cortisol levels during stress, anxiety, or panic; over time, as you make it a daily part of your routine, internal inflammation may be reduced.
Studies have shown that deep breathing may help to suppress the response of inflammatory genes that may contribute to inflammation.
Improves digestion when practiced daily and before meals
When we are stressed, we tend to clench our stomach muscles, resulting in that all too familiar knot in our stomachs.
When your muscles are tightly clenched it can interfere with healthy digestion. Deep breathing helps to release tight stomach muscles to aid in proper digestion.
Another one of the benefits of deep breathing is it can increase oxygen to the digestive system aiding in enhanced absorption of nutrients and improved intestinal strength.
Just 3-5 deep breaths before mealtimes can make all the difference.
Helps with many common anxiety symptoms
If you are anxious, then your breathing is shallow. If you are breathing fully and deeply, you are not going to experience the type of symptoms that you do when you aren’t. Shallow breathing at its most intense is called hyperventilation, when you take in short, sharp rapid breaths that can leave your head spinning and can make you feel like you aren’t getting enough air.
Apart from dizziness, tingling, especially in the mouth area, chest pressure and headaches are some more common anxiety symptoms that arise from very shallow breaths.
Alternate nostril breathing is particularly helpful to help balance out oxygen and carbon dioxide levels so you can start to feel more at ease.
It’s your anchor to the present
Whenever your mind is feeling frazzled and you are feeling disconnected from yourself and the present, falling into all those scary and uncomfortable thoughts that your brain may like to conjure up, become aware of your breath.
Your breath will always bring you back into the present where you can experience peace. It is your anchor so be sure to trust it.
Helps with insomnia and sleep-related issues
If sleep is an issue for you, and you feel like you have tried everything with no relief, try taking time to focus on your breath as deep breathing helps to relax an overstimulated nervous system and busy mind so you can start to get the rest you deserve.
A body scan meditation can be very helpful for helping you to drift off as you breathe.
Relaxes tense muscles to reduce muscle discomfort and pain
Many people are unaware of just how much stress can affect the muscles. When we are stressed, we tend to unconsciously clench our muscles which can result in significant pain over time.
Being aware of tight muscles and consciously releasing them is important and your breathing can help with this! Some gentle shoulder shrugs, neck circles and even a soothing self-massage while taking in nice, slow, deep belly breaths can help to relieve tension in areas that usually take on all our stress.
Deep breathing should be something you naturally and easily start to incorporate into your daily life. If you are even just able to start with 5 minutes a day that is amazing. The morning is always a good time, right as you wake up before your day even begins. However, try and make deep breathing something you turn to throughout your day. A minute here and there, a bit longer when you have the time, starts to train your brain and body to slowly start breathing deeper more automatically.
Here’s a great meditation that is easy to squeeze into your busy routine.
Once you start tapping into your breath and recognizing its immense power, there really is no turning back!
– Posted November 2021 –