Even though we have been breathing for all our lives, we can still learn a lot about this most basic instinct.

Quick, shallow, and unfocused breathing may contribute to anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. However, scientists find that around six exhalations a minute can be restorative, triggering a relaxation response in the brain and body.

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Breathwork is not the same as mindfulness. Mindfulness involves passive observation of the breath, whereas breathwork requires you to actively change the way you breathe.

Breathwork includes ensuring you breath with your diaphragm, rather than the movement of your chest. It will fill your lungs with more air while also slowing the pace of your breathing.

Right breathing can have a profound effect on calming the mind quickly and can act as a speed ramp into the meditation practice by getting you to that place of no-thought.

Slow breathing is a quick and easy way to change your state, whether it is to decrease stress or increase your energy and focus, or even in creative problem-solving. Other science-backed benefits include:

  • There is a short-term reduction in blood pressure after guided, slow breathing exercises.
  • It can alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • It appears to help relieve insomnia.
  • It can improve people’s management of pain.
  • It can help patients cope with chronic conditions like arthritis.

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