Deep Breathing: 9 ways it supercharges your Mind & Body
Breathing is an essential part of our life, every day we breathe, sometimes not even being mindful of it. Breathing heals on many levels, and understanding how it performs this function is good for our mental and physical well-being. Our breath constantly converts our life-sustaining energy, taking in oxygen, invigorating red blood cells and expelling carbon dioxide, which is a metabolic waste product.
In a nutshell… breath detoxifies, releases toxins and strengthens the immune system
Around 70% of our toxins are released from our body through our breath. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste product of your body’s metabolism. The benefits of breathing deeply help the systems in the body to process this more efficiently.
1. Breath Increases Energy
Oxygen is the most essential natural resource required by our cells. We can go without food for up to 40 days and without water for 3 days, yet we can die after just a few minutes of not breathing.
2. Breath Improves the Respiratory System
One of the benefits of breathing deeply is that it helps to release tension in the diaphragm and primary breathing muscles, relieving many long-term respiratory issues such as asthma and breathlessness. It opens up the chest, releasing tension from the intercostal muscles and around the scapula, erector spinae and trapezius muscles, allowing for a more relaxed posture.
3. Breath Calms the Nervous System
Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing us into a relaxed state. It functions in the opposite way to the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates activities associated with the fight-or-flight response.
4. Breath Strengthens the Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system depends on gravity, muscle movement, and the benefits of breath to keep flowing so that the body can be cleansed. Deep breathing can play an important role in protecting the body from bacteria, viruses and other threats to our health.
5. Breath Releases Muscle Tension
When we are stressed or experience uncomfortable feelings such as anger or pain, our breath becomes shallow and our muscle tissues contract. Deep breathing helps to release this.
6. Breath Improves the Cardiovascular System
Deep diaphragmatic breathing tones, massages and increases circulation to the heart, liver, brain and reproductive organs.
7. Breath Elevates the Digestive System
The benefits of deeper breathing include increased blood flow in the digestive tract, which encourages intestinal action and improves overall digestion, alleviating irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. In addition, deeper breathing results in a calmer nervous system which in turn enhances optimum digestion.
8. Breath Affects Our Mental State
The quality of our breath helps to relax the mind and enhance the ability to learn, focus, concentrate and memorise. The brain requires a great deal of oxygen to function and increased intake of oxygen helps us to achieve clarity and feel grounded and productive. It also relieves stress, anxiety, depression and negative thought patterns.
9. Breath Keeps Us Looking Youthful
It’s a universal truth that a happy face is more beautiful than a stressed or angry one. Even better news: breathing deeply slows the ageing process by increasing secretion of anti-aging hormones! By reducing stress, it improves our mood, elevating the levels of serotonin and endorphins.