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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:
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.
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.
Breathing is at the core of ancient (and currently trendy) mindfulness practices, from yoga and tai chi to meditation.
However, studies suggest that breathing exercises alone, derived from those ancient yoga practices, can be good for the body and mind.
How it’s done: Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a count of 6.
It calm the nervous system, increase focus and reduce stress.
When it works best: Anytime, anyplace — but this is one technique that’s especially effective before bed.
This is one repetition. Try to do at least 4.
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