How Can Just Breathing Help Me?
Last month, we talked about most people don't recognize the changes in their breathing and how those changes happen over time (You can find that article HERE). This time around, let's talk about the why and how breathwork helps.
In the same way watching how you eat provides many benefits beyond a happy stomach, spending time with your breath helps more than just your lungs. That's not to say what it does for the lungs isn't awesome. According to the American Lung Association, 5-10 minutes of daily breathwork helps remove accumulated stale air, increases oxygen levels, and lets the poor neglected diaphragm to return to its job.
Regular breathwork is one of the best ways to lower stress and regulate emotions. Have you ever wondered why people say, "Take a deep breath," when trying to get you to calm down? It also works well for those dealing with anxiety and depression.
Looking at the rest of the body, it lowers blood pressure, improves focus and memory, helps the digestive system... I could keep singing the praises or we could practice it. More techniques will be introduced in the coming months, and there are alot of them, but here's the first one that I want to introduce. Below is a youtube video that talks about square breathing, also called box breathing. It's starting right where Dr.Jo talks about how to do the technique:
If you don't want to or can't watch the video, here's the basic steps:
- Sit in a comfortable chair.
- Lift your head up, shoulders back, and spine straight.
- Breath in through your nose, letting the breath go into your belly for 1...2...3...4.
- Hold your breath for 1...2...3...4
- Breath out through your mouth for 1...2...3...4
- Hold it for 1...2...3...4
- Repeat for as much as you need. If you need it, you can draw the box in your mind or use your finger to make one.
Give this a try for a week and let us know how it works for you.
If square breathing doesn't feel quite right for you, that's okay. There are so many other types of breathing exercises that you can do. The video even includes a second exercise called pursed lips breathing. We'll do our best to highlight as many different types as possible, so stay tuned and give them a try.
Source: American Lung Association
Posted in Lifestyle, Meditation