Breathing deeply has been one of the oldest methods used to relax the nervous system and control episodes of anxiety, so different cultures worldwide have adopted this technique as a fundamental pillar to execute, maintain and improve their physical conditions.
This is the type of breathing that every human has at birth, considered as the correct breathing technique for the good oxygenation of the organism.
However, as the person develops, the way they breathe changes and unconsciously does so from the chest, that is, inhales oxygen and expands at the chest level.
For these reasons, below you can appreciate the benefits and the most effective way of deep breathing, so you can implement it and obtain the wonderful results of this ancestral technique.
What is deep breathing?
Deep breathing is the process that occurs when the person inhales air through the airways expanding the abdomen and contracting thediaphragm muscle.
In addition, conscious breathing helps the body to receive more oxygen in inhalation, which contributes to the production of red blood cells and exhaling releases toxins and wastes from the body converted into carbon dioxide.
Therefore, deep breathing has been used throughout human existence, as a fundamental part for the execution of relaxation techniques, meditationand healings, thus making it something more than an involuntary act of the organism.
Health Benefits of Deep Breathing
There are multiple health benefits of deep breathing, this is because it is one of the main mechanisms of the body and is vital for the survival and performance of each individual.
For this reason, below you will know the different and incredible benefits of deep breathing, so that you learn to use this wonderful and simple healing method.
1. Decreases stress and anxiety
Astudypublished by the journalScience, reveals that a group of researchers identified neurons located in the brainstem, between the brain and spinal cord, which explain the brain reaction to the type of breathing that the person presents in certain situations.
These are 350 neurons that act according to the acceleration of inspirations, in this case, neurons emit signals that make the body react as an alteration in its normal function.
That is, if the person is anxious or stressed, his breathing will be faster than usual, in this sense, deep and conscious breathing, decreases and normalizes breathing, causing the nervous system to relax and improve its function.
On the other hand, therapies based onbreathingand concentration exercises such as yoga or meditation, are the most common in terms of balancing stress and anxiety levels since it acts specifically on the nervous system of the person.
2. Increases cellular metabolism
Cellular metabolism is all the chemical changes that a cell goes through to provide energy to the body or the benefit it has according to its type, in turn, is one of the most important processes of the human being because the different functions of each organ and part of the body depend on it.
In this sense, cells use oxygen to fulfill their different functions, so deep breathing increases and improves cellular performance in the body, providing good health and physical condition.
3. Strengthens heart health
Deep breathing helps cardiovascular health because consciously breathing increases oxygen inhalation, this in turn, improves the transit of red blood cells and increases blood quality, which increases heart health.
On the other hand, people who suffer from high blood pressure are recommended to perform slow-breathing exercises so that blood flow stabilizes and thus reduce the risks of suffering a heart attack.
4. Allows the release of toxins
Carbon dioxide is important for red blood cells because it regulates the pH of the blood, however, when exhaling the person releases a large amount of toxins present in the body in the form of said gas.
Therefore, high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the body can make you feel dizzy, disoriented and feeling suffocated, this is how deep breathing helps you release toxins and restore the normal level of oxygen in your body.
5. Improves the digestion process
By breathing better the body can absorb and disintegrate food faster, which facilitates digestion and intestinal transit, being favorable for people who suffer from slow metabolisms.
This is because by providing more oxygen to the body, it works better, accelerates the processes of nutrient absorption and controls the nervous system so that the intestinal action is executed more efficiently.
6. Decreases physical pain
According to astudyconducted by theUniversity of Regensburg, Germany, revealed that the human being tends to decrease breathing and even retain it when he goes through some type of physical pain of great intensity.
Therefore, researchers report that deep, conscious and leisurely breaths help release endorphins that act as natural analgesics in the body, which gradually reduces certain body pains.
7. Promotes good body posture
People who usually have pain at the level of the back or spine, is because they have poor posture but is also the cause of an inadequate way of breathing, that is, not breathing correctly triggers muscle, cervical and even pelvic pain.
Likewise, deep breathing makes you maintain an upright position, with your head straight, shoulders and back straight, improving air circulation in the bloodstream and respiratory system.
In this sense, using good breathing makes the nerves between the cervical vertebrae remain located correctly, also strengthens the diaphragm muscle so that the body adopts the correct body posture while receiving better oxygenation.
8. Increase attention and concentration
A medicalstudypublished in theJournal Neurophysiology, reveals that the organism, including brain function, acts differently when conscious and deep breaths are performed, producing large and better changes in memory, attention and concentration.
For their part, the researchers concluded that there is a link between the way of breathing and activity in the cerebral cortex, where they showed great improvements in patients who practiced deep and conscious breathing exercises.
In addition, the study describes that impulsive reactions, sudden mood swings, diseases such as epilepsy and dyspnea, can be improved using deep breathing as a medicinal method.
9. Helps you sleep better
Breathing deeply, in addition to relaxing the nervous system, provides the body with emotional balance, which considerably helps people suffering from insomnia caused by stress, anxiety or health problems in general.
In this sense, using breathing and relaxation techniques will help you fallasleepmore effectively, because you will achieve the necessary tranquility for your mind and subconscious to relax and your body to rest fully.
10. Keep focus on the present moment
Breathing properly helps improve the connection between the brain and every part of the body, also improves your ability to concentrate, keeping you focused on the moment in which you are.
This is because generally the human being performs the process of breathing without consciousness, but by focusing on his diaphragmatic breathing, he focuses on what he is doing, his senses are sharpened and he becomes more aware of his environment.
How is deep breathing performed?
An adult human being can perform the breathing process up to 25,000 times a day, so that this natural cycle of the organism is directly involved in the performance of all other functions of the organism.
Next, you will be able to know the correct way to perform deep breathing so that you use it in your daily life and improve your physical condition and health.
Breathing air into the lower part of the lungs
Deep breathing should be diaphragmatic, that is, where the diaphragm muscle is located, it is located at the base of the lungs, its function is to facilitate the entry of air into the lungs.
For this reason, you must inhale air at the level of the abdomen, so that the diaphragm fulfills its function and the lungs increase their capacity, inhaling correctly for the benefit of the rest of the body.
Direct air to the lower and middle part of the lungs
To do this, you must make sure that it is the lower and middle part of your trunk that rise when inhaling and not your chest or shoulders, if so, you are not breathing properly.
The important thing about deep breathing is that it is done from the lower part of the lungs, so they will be completely filled with oxygen and you will get better results.
Inspire in a complete way
Make sure you have inhaled enough air to reach the maximum capacity of your lungs, this should be done slowly so that the diaphragm contracts, both lungs progressively expand and you can get a deep breath.
Exhale the air with closed lips
When exhaling, you should do it with your lips closed or pursed, this will help you eliminate air from your lungs slowly and consciously, which in turn benefits you to maintain concentration longer, helps you release stress and decreasesanxiety attacks.
Toggle inspiration in a single continuous time
To make the inspiration you can alternate between the left and right nostril, that is, take air through the right nasal on the first inspiration, then cover that nostril and use the left.
This will help you manage air better as you progress through breathing exercises, you’ll use both airways and you’ll be able to focus a little more on what you’re doing.
Repeat the above in different positions and situations
To start with deep breathing, it is recommended that you sit down, place one of your hands on your chest and the other on your abdomen, so you will have greater control of the type of breathing you are using.
Stay upright, with your shoulders erect and your head straight, too, you can perform the exercises standing, lying on your back or on your side.
The important thing is that you do deep breathing at least twice a week, so if you experience any adverse situation, you will be prepared to face it.
Similarly, when you start deep breathing you can start with 2 seconds to inhale and 4 to exhale, that is, it takes twice as long to remove air from your lungs.
It is recommended that you make a small pause between each breath as you move forward and increase the periods of inhalation and exhalation.
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.