Sunday, September 23, 2007

Benefits of Deep Breathing

What if I told you that there was a way you can relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and have more energy would you be interested? No, I'm not talking about a new hard to pronounce prescription drug with a seemingly endless list of morbid side effects. I'm referring to the practice of deep breathing. This often overlooked method of health optimization is one of the easiest and best exercises you can do for yourself. In addition to stress and anxiety reduction, deep breathing may also lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. Your brain also benefits from your deep breathing. The more oxygen that is allowed to enter your brain through the blood, the clearer your thinking will be. Deep breaths help relieve your fight or fight instincts so that you can clearly think during high stress situations. Here are a few types of breathing exercises you can perform at any time.

Counting Breaths
This exercise requires you to sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight, head forward, and eyes closed. Breathe in naturally and count "one" when you exhale. Breathe in again naturally and then count "two" as you exhale again and continue on until you reach a five count. Do this for about 10 minutes and if done correctly, you should come out of it with a clearer head due to a change in brain activity.

Chest and Abdominal Breathing
This exercise will help you become more aware of your breathing. Start by lying on your back and placing one hand on your abdominal and one hand on your chest. Take a deep breath through your nostrils with the focus on keeping your chest still and filling your belly with air. This will help you learn to breath through your diaphragm.

Short Breaths
This is a quick breathing technique that begins with you inhaling three short breaths through the nostrils and then exhaling smoothly through the mouth. Ten to twelve breaths in 2-3 minutes should be enough gain the full benefits of this exercise.
It is amazing sometimes how a simple thing such as breathing can have a positive effect on our bodies and minds. You can feel better by doing some of these exercises daily and you don't have to worry about dealing with negative side effects.

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