If you’ve ever wondered what is deep breathing good for, this article is for you.
You live in a hurry and stress. Too many things distract you and even proper breathing is often difficult to do. And yet breathing is the basis of existence! Learn the techniques of proper breathing and it will be easier for you to overcome stress.
Are breathing techniques effective in relieving stress? Breathing determines our existence. It is an obvious truth, but it is underestimated. Every day we perform thousands of breaths without thinking about the fact that proper breathing has an impact on our health and mood. Breathing is not only a source of energy – it is also a cure for broken nerves and a key to understanding oneself.
What Is Deep Breathing Good For?
The power of conscious breathing
There is a close connection between breath and psyche. The rhythm of breathing changes under the influence of thoughts and emotions. When we feel something intense (e.g. anxiety), we instinctively shallow down, accelerate or hold our breath. If for a long time we are accompanied by stress and tension, it is reflected in our breath.
Many philosophical systems attach great importance to breathing. It is believed that this is not only a chemical reaction, but also a complex energy process. Conscious breathing work has been part of yoga, tai-chi and other spiritual schools in the East for millennia. It is also appreciated by modern psychotherapy. Breathing is energy – also from a physiological point of view.
In the process of breathing, we provide the cells with the oxygen needed to burn organic substances. During this combustion process, energy is produced. A better oxygenated organism functions better.
This is why, after a long walk in the air, the body becomes more elastic and the brain becomes more sober. It is also no secret that yogis who focus their attention on breathing maintain good condition and mental clarity until they reach old age. So if you want to feel healthier and improve your quality of life, start with conscious breathing.
Breathing during meditation
A simple and effective method of working with breathing is meditation used in all Eastern schools of life. Sitting meditation with crossed legs uses abdominal breathing, called diaphragmatic breathing. It is the most natural and similar to the way we breathed as children.
It aims to use whole lungs, especially their lower lobes, which with age, when our body becomes more and more tense, are slowly switched off. Abdominal breathing during meditation has another meaning.
It directs the thought to our energy center, which is located just at the height of the abdomen. Living in a hurry, we unknowingly keep the energy in our heads. As we turn our breath down, we slowly calm down and after a while we are able to find balance in everything we do.
Abdominal breathing causes the breath to gradually extend, deepen and slow down, and this leads to calming thoughts. Focusing on the breath during meditation allows us to live in the moment – here and now. This is very important, because in the multitude of things we are still busy with what has been or will be. We forget that only by experiencing the present moment can we really experience life.
Try to find during the day a dozen or so minutes to practice.
- Sit back, relax your muscles, close your eyes.
- Inhale air with your nose, breathe out with your mouth.
- While inhaling, push the abdomen area (using abdomen and diaphragm muscles) out, pushing air into the lower part of the lungs.
- Stop breathing and count to five.
- Then slowly breathe out, relaxing your shoulders, torso and stomach.
- Breathe freely, deeply.
Imagine the inhaled air as a life-giving, purifying stream. As you breathe out, visualize the dirt that leaves you.
Eastern breathing techniques
Abdominal breathing is the basic way of breathing in Buddhist and tai-chi practice. It consists of stuffing the abdomen during inhalation and inhalation during exhalation. It is taught in birthing schools, among others, because it helps to relax muscles during childbirth.
In tai-chi, reversed breathing is also used: during inhalation the abdomen is inhaled and during exhalation the abdomen is pushed out. This technique serves to store energy and increase the efficiency of the body. We breathe in this way, e.g. lifting a weight.
Yoga practitioners use pranayama, a breathing technique that consists of breathing in, breathing out and stopping breathing. Inhaling provides life force, exhaling cleanses the body of toxins. At the moment of holding the breath, the energy spreads through the body.
In the 1980s, a popular method of conscious breathing was Rebirthing, propagated by the American Leonard Orr. Breath control is a part of the work on oneself and aims at rebirth by drawing on the birth experience and breaking the blockages associated with it.
Breath Integration – Breathconnection
Currently, the therapies use Breath Integration – Breathconnection, which combines several methods. This technique was developed by Australian yoga teacher Nemi Nath. Breathconnection is also about working on oneself. Conscious breathing is about a smooth transition from inspiration to exhalation. During the one-hour therapy session, the nervous system calms down, the emotions are relieved, we calm down and relax.
All breathing techniques teach one thing – that breathing is a powerful source of health and peace. It can be our inner guide, with which we reach the subconscious, learn about ourselves, contact with intuition. Strong, deep breathing can bring immediate relief in a moment of stress.
We often use it instinctively… if only by yawning. Breathing is an excellent medicine, which, moreover, costs nothing and which we can always use.