The ability to gain more energy, still racing thoughts and easily calm anxiety is a pill that many would pay for in this day and age – but few realise just how easy it is to obtain these benefits by simply harnessing the power of breath. It really is as simple as that for those who wish to experience a state of overall wellbeing.
Think about when you last started feeling anxious about something – did you realise that at that time you were taking in short, shallow breaths and likely had tensed up your shoulders and jaw? Pay attention if this is something that happens regularly to you – as simply breathing a little deeper and intentionally can quickly help you achieve a more relaxed approach to problems – as well as provide you with a renewed sense of purpose.
The Power Of Breathing Well
Numerous studies have been conducted in order to try and pinpoint exactly how deep breathing helps us mentally, as well as what kind of effects it has physiologically on the human body. With more oxygen available for the body to use, the body can enter a restive state that allows the heart rate as well as blood pressure to drop. Other fields find that despite increased oxygen, the overall mental state improves too – which may be attributed to the body relaxing.
Disciplined Attentiveness to Breath
The ability each of us has to generate a renewed energy, a calmer state of being, and reduce our stress and anxiety is a few short breaths away. While there are numerous practices listed below that allow people to experience different benefits, start now by simply breathing in and out in a slow, controlled manner. Really fill your lungs with air fully, hold for a few seconds, and then release. Do this a few times in a row and you’ll enter into a state of calm, ready for whatever may come next.
Alternate nostril breathing: This practice is one which can lower blood pressure, as well as help one enter a sense of calm as it engages the parasympathetic nervous system. To do it, one nostril is plugged (or held shut with a finger), as a deep breath is taken slowly through the open nostril. Then the breathing nostril is plugged and the exhale is done via the nostril which was initially shut.
Count and hold breathing: In this breathing, you are said to reach a state of calm quickly. To do it, simply breath in deeply and expand your diaphragm,
Kapalabhati: This style of breathing is said to improve your attentiveness to tasks at hand. Breathe in fully and feel your lungs and diaphragm expand, then breath out in short, explosive breaths until all air has been expelled. Repeat a few times to enjoy more mental clarity.
While practicing deep breathing, look at also thinking calming, happy thoughts – either about your life and what you’re grateful for, or by picturing a place you feel most at ease such as a forest or the beach. This will help you get back into a good mindset and throw off any worries or cares that are weighing you down. Activities that cultivate an understanding of breath work include meditation, yoga and pranayama, which help to coach practitioners into pay attention to conscious breathing.