The Joys of Deep Breathing
Breathing is something people do at the subconscious level. For this reason, very few people pay attention to how they breathe. The fast-paced life of today’s world has not made it any better. Most people may not even know they are shallow breathers. Shallow breathing has adverse effects including being detrimental to your health and possibly frequent stomach aches. What many people don’t know is that breathing into their bellies can greatly change their lives.
Here are a few ways deep breathing can be beneficial to you:
Improved Oxygen Delivery
Deep breathing, by its very nature, draws lots of air into your lungs. This means that the amount of oxygen getting into your body is much more than usual. Each and every one of your cells will get adequate oxygen. The effect of this is to increase the functionality of each and every system in your body thus relieving stress. The energy level in the body also depends on in a big part on the amount of air you breathe. The more air you breathe, the more energy you will have. Deeper breaths mean you are bringing on more oxygen levels into the body to improve your energy levels.
Constipation is more often the result of shallow breathing. People who breathe into their lower abdomen have a greater chance to have regular bowel movements. Slow deep breathing is engaged during sleep when the to the parasympathetic nervous system takes over. In the state of sleep, your body has a greater chance to regenerate, recuperate, heal, and get relieved of stress. When your body is in this rested healing state, the food you eat is digested more efficiently than usual. Also, breathing into the gut ensures the internal organs function well. It calms emotions that directly affect the digestive system thus keeping you healthier.
Less Immune System Inflammation
Cancer is known to thrive in a body with high levels of acidity. This acidity is mainly caused by heightened stress levels and the types of foods we put in our body. Apart from helping regenerate and heal tissues, deep breathing can also detoxify the body. It reduces the levels of acid in the body thus reducing your risk of developing cancer. It works by first reducing the levels of stress which when high can increase acidity levels in the body.
Deep breathing is similar to self-love. It helps you have greater compassion for other people. Your relationship benefits when you are less stressed. Deep breathing enables you to step back and think before you talk. This is because your nerves have a chance to settle. You, therefore tend to have better relationships. When you are in a state of anger, your breath is fast and short. The reverse is true when your stress levels are lower, it equals a slow and complete breath. So, when you find yourself in an argument with someone, it’s beneficial to take longer and deeper breaths. Your anger will go down allowing you to look at the situation in a new light.
For years I thought or was told to belly breath, which means as my diaphragm expands I would push my stomach out. This is supposed to create a deeper and more relaxing breath. For relaxation, yes, this type of breathing might be the way to go, but for everyday deep breathing that creates a healthier core, there may be a better way.
Now while taking a deep breath instead of displacing the stomach (pushing it outward), keep your abs slightly contracted, this will most likely contract your lower back slightly as well. Instead of the diaphragm pressing the pressure forward, the pressure will slightly be pressing onto your organs, which is normal. As this happens the diaphragm will start to expand into the lower rib cage as well as force air into your lungs. As more air fills your lungs the rib cage will expand and lift. This kind of deep breathing is a more efficient deep breath than the belly breathing and it will tone core muscles as well.
Tom Ockler on Youtube