Focus On Your Breath And Relax
If you live 70 years and you have an average respiratory rate (breaths per minute) of 16, then over your lifetime you will make approximately 588,672,000 breaths which is 589 million breaths. That’s a lot!
To still your mind, focus on your breath, let your thoughts go and relax. Breathe deeply and feel the energy as the oxygen enters your body, appreciate the breath, the gift of life.
Some breathing exercises
Diaphragmatic breathing aka “belly breathing” engages our diaphragm, which is the primary muscle involved in deep breathing. To practice this type of breathing your shoulders need to be relaxed and you should be sitting back or lying down. Put one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest, inhaling through your nose for 2 seconds, feeling the air move into your lungs and your stomach moving out.
Then while pressing on your abdomen breathe out fully through pressed lips and repeat.
Pursed lips breathing is generally easier for first-timers than diaphragmatic breathing and can be practiced at any time. To do this type of breathing: breathe in slowly through your nostrils, purse your lips and breathe out as slowly as possible. (This should take at least twice as long as it took to breathe in). Repeat. This breathing technique helps to slow down your breathing which reduces the effort it takes to breathe and keeps your airways open for longer.
Benefits of deep breathing exercises
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves circulation to the gut and therefore digestion
- Helps support correct posture
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Stimulates the lymphatic system which increases detoxification of the body
- Boosts immune system
- Increases oxygenation of the blood and therefore energy
Breathing exercises are often recommended for people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD makes the diaphragm less effective, so doing breathing exercises that benefit the diaphragm specifically can help to strengthen the diaphragm and improve your breathing and oxygenation.
If you suffer from excess stress this will prevent your immune system from working at full capacity and make you vulnerable to inflammation and infections. Everyone has stress such as high work pressure, financial problems, difficult decisions, issues with loved ones etc. Deep breathing exercises are a natural way to help you reduce the effects of stress.
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