Every system in the human body relies on oxygen. From cognition to digestion, effective breathing can not only provide you with a greater sense of mental clarity, it can also help you sleep better, digest food more efficiently, improve your body’s immune response and reduce stress levels.
Since your lungs have no muscles, most of the “breath work” is done by your diaphragm. As you inhale, the diaphragm contracts and flattens, pushing the ribs up and out, which lowers the amount of pressure in your chest cavity. Air then gets sucked into your lungs so your body gets the oxygen it needs. When you exhale and relax your diaphragm, your lungs deflate and release carbon dioxide. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about remembering to breathe because your diaphragm is controlled by nerves in your spinal cord which is why you keep breathing even when you are asleep!
Most of the time our breathing is rather shallow which means we are not completely filling our lungs of oxygen, nor are we exhaling all the carbon dioxide out of our lungs.But, with a little practice, you can learn how to do deep breathing which will be of great benefit to your body.
Deep breaths allow your body to fully exchange incoming oxygen with outgoing carbon dioxide. They have also been shown to slow the heartbeat, lower or stabilize blood pressure and lower stress. An easy way to experience deep breathing is to sit up straight which allows the lungs to expand quickly and efficiently with every breath. If you are sitting at your desk and feel foggy or uninspired, take a moment to reposition your body with a straight back and you will notice an immediate improvement at how well oxygen is reaching your bloodstream and therefore, your brain.
There are many resources on the internet that tell you how to do deep breathing exercises. One such site I found is called 7 Deep Breathing Benefits to Better Your Daily Life. This article goes into detail about why deep breathing is good for us, and also gives some types of deep breathing exercises you can practice at home. You can get to this site by clicking here.
So, be good to your body and take a deep breath!
– Becky Lynn is a writer for EllisDownHome.com. She and her husband Bob enjoy spending time with their 8 grandchildren and traveling. Becky loves cranking up the music and heading to the kitchen to try out new recipes or cook for an upcoming party. She is passionate about continuing to be a life-long learner!