Whenever we’re stressed, burned-out, or getting tired of thinking about our problems, we tend to say to ourselves, “I need to get a breathe of fresh air”. Well guess what, you’re body is speaking for you! Trust me, all you need to do most of the time to calm your mind and body is to breathe... breathe deeply.
Performing deep breathing exercises can make us calm, focused and grounded. Being in a relaxed state of mind can definitely help us think sharper and clear uneasy feelings out of our body. A deep breathing exercise is the easiest stress reliever that can be done wherever we are. No need for any equipment or a big space to do this exercise - all we need is a few minutes of our time! And that being said, let me share with you this simple deep breathing exercise that helps me keep going during my busy days.
First, sit in a comfortable position and straighten your back. Relax your shoulders then place your hands on your knees. Start breathing with exhaling since you cannot fully inhale if your lungs are not completely empty. Breathe in through your nose (you can close your eyes to feel more relaxed). Exhale slowly through your nose while counting to five. Try to tighten or tense your abdominal muscles and at the end of your breathe, pause for two seconds. Inhale slowly while you count to five and expand your belly as you breathe in. Repeat five to ten times. As you keep on repeating the breathing, it will become easier to breathe deeply without overthinking the counting.
Easy right? And no extra effort needed. The movement of the diaphragm during this deep breathing exercise massages the small intestine, liver, pancreas and stomach, too! But did you know that there are even more benefits that you can get from deep breathing? Aside from the calmness of mind that we all want, breathing deeply also detoxifies and releases some of the toxins in our body that shallow breathing cannot. Our body is designed to release toxins through breathing so if we are not breathing properly, we are not properly ridding our body of toxins that are supposed to be exhaled. Also, by exhaling, we release carbon dioxide (natural waste of our body’s metabolism) that has been passed through our bloodstream into our our lungs.
When we feel angry, scared, tensed or stressed, our muscles tighten causing our breathing to become shallow. When our breathing is shallow, our body will not be getting the right amount of oxygen it needs. I cannot emphasize enough how important oxygen is to our body. So with the right amount of oxygen in our body, our organs will function at their best - better digestion, better immune system and blood circulation.
Deep breathing is not JUST a stress reliever - it will keep us performing at our best. And there’s a lot more behind it that we need, so we can benefit greatly by making it part of our everyday living.
So don’t forget to breathe…deeply, that is. :)