Breathing is the natural involuntary function occurring in all living beings. It is the process by which you exhale carbon dioxide from your body and inhale oxygen. Your normal respiration rate is usually 12-16 breaths per minute at rest. Your breathing rate increases during anxiety, fear, stress and certain illness.
Usually, you will do shallow breathing, where you use only intercostal muscle( muscles in between your ribs) and observe only chest movement. During this type of breathing, you will draw only minimal air into your lungs. Whereas in deep breathing, you use your abdominal muscles, diaphragm and chest muscles. During this your chest and abdomen expand drawing more oxygen into your lungs, your respiration rate decreases and promotes the feelings of relaxation.
Benefits of Deep Breathing
- Calms down your body and mind.
- Removes fear, anxiety and stress.
- It releases endorphins, which reduces pain and body ache.
- Induces good sleep.
- Diaphragmatic movements during deep breathing enhance blood flow to the internal organs.
- Reduces blood pressure.
- Increases your energy level.
- Relaxes your muscles.
Sit in any comfortable position, close your eyes. Exhale completely drawing your abdomen in and dropping your chest. Inhale deeply, bulging your abdomen out, expanding your chest. Hold your breath for few seconds and exhale, hold again for few seconds. Repeat the cycle. Concentrate on your breathing and your body movements.
Start practising at least 10 deep breaths as soon as you get up and before going to bed. Few minutes of deep breathing daily will improve your physical and mental health.