Breathing is one of the most unconscious activities that we perform our whole life. But how many times have we ever actually paid attention to it? Or, when was the last time you felt the breathing process in your body? In this article, you’ll find the answers to some critical questions about breathing that you must know for the actual knowledge of its power.
We all think that we are well aware of what breathing is and how it works, but the chances are that most of us are doing it wrong, according to researchers. If you are one of the people whose chest rises and falls while breathing, you too fall in this category. Given that breathing is inherently instantaneous, most people have lots to monitor and develop regarding the most fundamental of our physiological processes. It is not just about inhaling and exhaling air. It involves the traveling of air throughout our bodies.
Along with that, to derive maximum benefits from this simple activity, you must try practicing deep breathing. Breath control and mindful breathing can benefit our overall health than most people get shocked when they hear about the mesmerizing effects. Studies have also shown that conscious breathing can improve our overall health, from mood to metabolism.
Benefits of mindful breathing
Awareness is the key to good breathing. Because our minds are usually racing, panicking about the future, or dreading our past mistakes, mindfulness of the breath provides us with an attachment point for the current moment. Controlled breathing can help you manage anxiety, boost metabolism, and strengthen the immune system.
For centuries, yogis have relied on breathing techniques to enhance their concentration and vigor. The benefits that come with mindful breathing are numerous. Conscious breathing as an active practice can make it easier to find a standard foundation, restore energy, and develop good rituals that will support us for the coming years. Here are some of the significant effects that mindful breathing has on our minds and bodies.
Mindful breathing practices help us achieve mental clarity and reduces stress by putting our focus on the present moment. We learn to live in the present and not worry about our past or future. Our thoughts and emotions are more stabilized, allowing our minds to be in a calm state in any circumstances.
Longer attention span
You will be able to enhance the growth of new neurons in the brain’s cerebral cortex via the power of commitment and deep breathing, resulting in improved cognitive ability. As you focus on your breathing patterns, you challenge your mind to refocus on your breath every time a distraction occurs. This enables your mind to be trained to find concentration even in chaos.
By being able to control our breath, we also gain control over our emotions. It makes it easier for us to resist the urge to act impulsively. Our mental state becomes more focused, and we reason even in stressful situations. Controlled breathing methods have been shown in studies to foster positive emotional responses, enhancing mental health and overall well-being.
Research has shown that people who practice breath control and mindful breathing have more air capacity in their lungs than people who don’t. This practice helps in optimizing the use of our lungs for maximum oxygen intake without tiring us out.
How to control & practice mindful breathing
There are a considerable number of techniques available for controlled breathing or mindful breathing. Concentrating on various aspects of our health, these techniques vary from easy to challenging levels. You can practice some of these on your own, and for some, you might need to consult an expert. Here we have some techniques that you can practice without any hassle.
Deep mindful breathing
This is a straightforward breathing practice suitable for beginners as well as advanced yogis to form focus. The goal of this technique is to help you stay focused throughout the practice.
Keep all of your focus on your breath and how it travels through your body. You need to sit in a comfortable position and start breathing deeply. You can do this every time you need to regain focus.
This practice is a yoga form. It involves inhaling from one nostril and exhaling from the other. It helps in reducing stress, calming our minds, and improving our respiratory system.
To practice this technique, sit cross-legged and put your left hand on your left knee. Placing your right hand on your right nostril, inhale from the left one, and then placing your thumb on the left nostril, exhale through the right one. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes.
The 4-7-8 Technique
This technique of breathing is also known as the relaxing technique. It focuses on calming the mind, reducing anxiety, and promoting better sleep. It also helps in managing cravings and mood swings.
Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds. To perform this practice, you must be in a comfortable position. You can modify the duration of your breaths according to your comfort in case of light-headedness.
This practice works on controlling your breath by noticing physical movement. It helps in focusing on your breath and the movement it causes in your body.
Start taking deep breaths. Sit down cross-legged or lie down on the ground. Keep both your hands on your stomach and notice the rise and fall with each inhale and exhale. Decrease the count of breaths per minute for advancement.
These methods of controlled mindful breathing do not require any special equipment or a trainer to practice. You can perform these on your own. Keep doing these practices throughout the day whenever you feel like it to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue. These practices will help you in building your concentration, attention, and focus. Along with that, they will also improve your lung capacity, allowing your body to get more oxygen flow.
When it comes to mindful practices, consistency is the key. You must keep performing these practices regularly, and you will see visible results in your body along with improved brain capacity.