Benefits of Mindful Breathing

Mindfulness meditation

Mindful Breathing Exercises

 

There are numerous health benefits to practicing mindful breathing exercises such as stress relief and lower blood pressure. The breath is one of our most important healing tools and one of the most overlooked. “We take 20,000 breaths a day, including while we are asleep. How many of those are you conscious of?” reports BetterUpBreathing is something we do all day, usually without conscious thought. 

When we do focus on the breath, we are able to speak to the body in very profound ways. The breath is one of the easiest gateways to our bodies because it’s always with us. 

 

 

Benefits of Deep Breathing

 

Deep breathing:A form of slow deep breathing in which the diaphragm contracts on the inhale and relaxes on the exhale. This kind of breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and activates the relaxation response of the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system,” according to UCLA Health. This is the system that calms the body. It helps us come out of a state of stress and distress, and move toward rest, restoration, and healing. Deep breathing helps reduce emotional distress and anxiety. Likewise, the benefits of mindful breathing can bring a sense of calm and overall wellbeing.

Additionally, according to this Harvard Health Publishing article, “Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.”

Breath Awareness

 

Breath awareness: Turning our attention to the breath is a fundamental mindfulness practice. By paying attention to the flow of air in and out of our bodies, we tune into the present moment. The result is less stress and anxiety. Mindful breathing can also rewire neural pathways in the brain to reduce pain.

 

 

Mind+Body+Breath Connection

 

Breath in the body: Additionally, the breath is a physical event in the body. Breathing engages a complex array of muscles and tissues and massages the internal organs. Injuries, surgeries, and chronic stress can change the way the body breathes. These changes can cause chronic tension and pain.

Adding movement with the breath can help release this muscle tension and reset neuromuscular patterns. There are also breath awareness and breathing exercises that address structural issues like pain in the low back, pelvis, and neck and shoulders.

The breath is a powerful healing tool that allows us to speak to parts of the body that we cannot reach with the mind alone. The benefits of mindful breathing include reducing chronic stress, pain and anxiety; releasing muscle tension, and fostering an overall sense of wellbeing.

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