Shifting your awareness away from worry and quieting
the inner dialog in your brain. The physiological
changes that occur with deep breathing are referred to
as the “relaxation response.”
The relaxation response is a term first coined by Dr.
Herbert Benson, professor, author, cardiologist, and
founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute. He
wrote the book The Relaxation Response, in which he
shares the benefits of a variety of relaxation techniques
(including diaphragmatic breathing) in treating a wide
range of stress-related disorders 먹튀검증.
Benson says, “The relaxation response is a physical
state of deep rest that changes the physical and
emotional responses to stress…and the opposite of the
fight or flight response.”
In addition to promoting the relaxation response, deep
breathing has many well-researched health benefits.
Here’s a summary of what deep nose breathing can do
- Boost nitric oxide, a powerful immuneboosting molecule produced in the
sinuses during nose breathing.
- Improve the quality of your blood
through eliminating toxins and increased
- Assist the digestion and assimilation of
food through a more efficient stomach
and digestive system.
- Increase the health and function of the
nervous system by increased
- Improve the function of the abdominal
organs and the heart through increased
- Help prevent respiratory problems as the
lungs become stronger and more
- Reduce blood pressure and help prevent
heart disease as the heart becomes more
efficient and stronger and the workload
on the heart is reduced.
- Assist in weight control as extra oxygen
burns excess fat more efficiently.
By practicing a few minutes of deep abdominal
breathing every day, you are building a life-long habit
proven through years of research and testing to clear
your mind, reduce stress, and promote relaxation of
the mind and body.
Barrie likes to practice deep breathing several times a
day when she takes a break from work and before bed
to prepare her mind and body for sleep. You can
practice mindful breathing just about anywhere at any
time of day, especially when you find yourself
overthinking or feeling stressed and anxious. Even a
few minutes of mindful breathing a day can improve
your sense of well-being and mental calm.
However, you might want to develop a regular practice
of deep breathing at a specific time of day, as focused
breathing is the foundation for a meditation practice,
which we’ll discuss in the next chapter. If you
establish a 5 ? to 10-minute breathing habit,
you can easily use this habit as a trigger and
starting point for your meditation practice.
Here is a seven-step process you can use to develop
the practice of deep breathing on a daily basis:
1. Determine a time of day to practice deep
breathing, preferably after a daily habit
you perform consistently, like brushing
Morning is always a good time to practice, as it
sets the tone for your day. However, you may find
you want to take a break in the middle of the day,
as things get more hectic during your workday.
Before bed is another good time, as it promotes a
restful state before sleep.
2. Select a setting for your breathing
practice in a quiet space where you won’t
be distracted or interrupted. Turn off
your phone, computer, and any other
device that might disturb you.
3. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
4. Sit on the floor with a pillow in a
meditative position, like the lotus
position, or in a chair with your spine
straight and feet planted on the floor. Let
your hands rest gently in your lap.
5. Inhale slowly through your nose until
your lungs are filled to capacity, allowing
your stomach to push out on the
6. At the end of the inhalation, pause for a
count of two.
7. Exhale slowly, smoothly, and completely,
allowing your stomach to return to its
natural position. Pause at the end of the
exhalation as well.
When you first begin, don’t take in too much air in one
breath. Start by breathing to the count of four, pausing
for the count of two, and exhaling to the count of four.
If you notice you’re hyperventilating, don’t breathe in
quite as deeply. With practice, you’ll enlarge your lung
capacity and can inhale more air.
Now let’s move on to another mindfulness practice that
involves focused breathing but takes you to another
level of calm, mental clarity, and inner peace.