You’ve heard the phrase, “Just take a deep breath.”
But what does deep breathing really do for your health?
According to the American Institute of Stress, abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and stress.
Additional benefits include added energy, better digestion, overall relaxation, and an increased ability to focus.
And guess what else?
Deep breathing is FREE (bet you were expecting the secret to great health would involve a pricey gym membership or therapy session!).
Here are 4 more benefits of why deep breathing is incredibly beneficial for our bodies:
Oxygen provides energy
By drawing in a deep breath, your blood flow increases. When your blood flow increases, the oxygen level in your blood provides added stamina and energy. This is why runners are encouraged to breathe deeply into their abdominal region (or abdomen) when they run in order to provide their bodies that extra needed energy.
Increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain helps stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. This helps give you the overall feeling of calm and relaxation. In addition, deep breathing helps you connect your mind and body by bringing awareness to the flow of your breath and taking your mind off worries and negative thoughts. This is why yoga is such a great exercise for those who wish to lessen their stress level, because the exercise focuses on breathing while holding poses.
When you increase your intake of oxygen, your organs are able to perform at their best. In addition, you’re able to calm down and activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body to digest food more efficiently.
Being mentally present in the moment gives your brain added focus. When you breathe and bring yourself back to your center, your productivity and decision-making skills are greatly improved. When you’re having trouble getting through a task at work, take a moment to close your eyes and take 20 seconds to breathe deeply and slowly, and then try the task again.
Interested in discovering more calming techniques? Read this article.