7 Benefits of Inhalation Exercises : We live in troubled times. The world is full of social, political, economic and environmental issues that threaten our way of life.
It’s no surprise that rates of mental illness are at an all-time high. Indeed, 20% of US adults suffer from mental illness every year.
Life can truly feel overwhelming at times! Running from our problems isn’t going to help.
Instead, now, more than ever, we need to stop, take a moment and breathe!
In reality, few people truly realize the importance of breathing exercises. That’s despite the fact that they’ve been used throughout history to support our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Want to learn more about the true value of stopping to take a breath? Let us help.
Read on to discover 7 key benefits of inhalation exercises.
They Soothe and Calm
Breathing exercises are a natural means of calming down.
Imagine coming across someone having a panic attack. What’s the first thing you’d say to them to try and help? Most people would suggest they try and breathe through it.
It’s good advice, too.
In challenging times our physiology kicks in.
When we’re stressed and panicky our muscles tighten; breathing becomes shorter and shallower. We don’t get enough oxygen, which makes the predicament worse. Focusing on extending your breathing can overturn the situation.
Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is a simple way of finding calm. Even better is to breathe out (through the mouth) for longer than you breathe in (through the nose).
They Reduce Pain
Breathing exercises can also function as a natural painkiller.
That’s right — put the paracetamol down! It’s time to do some deep breathing instead.
There’s a physical and mental side to how breathing reduces pain. Firstly, it’s easy to panic when your body gets hurt somehow. Your brain is flooded with a stress hormone that exacerbates the situation.
Breathing deeply from your abdomen raises levels of oxygen in the blood. A direct outcome of this is the release of feel-good hormones called endorphins. These help you feel a bit better anyway.
However, as they enter your system they also work to counteract the level of stress hormone. Your heart rate slows down too, and the mental side of suffering reduces.
They Facilitate Meditation
There’s something inherently meditative about breathing exercises too.
Anyone familiar with meditation will know how common it is to focus the breath. This is a meditative technique that’s as old as the practice itself!
The breath has been used as a meditation tool since the dawn of the very practice. It’s not a surprise. Breathing provides a way of grounding yourself in the present moment.
Paying attention to it cultivates a growing awareness of your physiology. It roots you in the here and now, preventing your brain from running away in thought.
Of course, the soothing side of deep breathing comes into play too.
Even a brief period of meditation, with a focus on the breath, can lead to reductions in stress and anxiety. You come away with a great sense of calm.
They Provide Life Itself
Let’s not forget the importance of oxygen to life!
It’s a vital component of our existence. We can live for a while without food or water. Without oxygen, though, we won’t be around for long.
Indeed, some people with respiratory problems need support with their breathing. Devices, like the Inogen One G3, are often required to deliver adequate oxygen to their body.
In the same way that we suffer (and die!) with a lack of air. Breathing exercises can supply additional oxygen that enhances our life. Breathing deeply, even for short periods of time, can actively boost our physical and mental health.
They Increase Energy Levels
Here’s another example of how life improves thanks to breathing exercises. Think back to the last time you went on a run. Didn’t you feel amazing afterwards?
That happy outcome was thanks to the higher levels of oxygen in your system at the time. The oxygen worked to elicit the release of endorphins, which feel incredible.
You feel energized and full of life as a result.
A similar effect is derived from breathing exercises.
After all, the process is very similar: you oxygenate your blood through deep and controlled breathing. This releases endorphins in the same way, evoking the same natural high.
They Improve Digestion
Do you suffer from digestive issues, such as IBS?
Well, you might be interested in this particular benefit of breathing.
Apparently, deep breathing exercises have been shown to increase levels of blood flow in our body. This elevated blood flow is felt specifically in the digestive tract.
As a result, our intestine (and digestive system in general) enjoys a boost.
In some ways, this makes logical sense. High levels of stress are a common cause of tummy trouble! If breathing promotes feelings of calm, then it would seem reasonable to assume it aids the internal digestive issues too.
They Prolong Youthful looks
These days, most people want to look younger for longer.
Many go to extreme and invasive lengths to do so. As it happens, breathing exercises may provide an altogether easier way of keeping youthful looks: breathing exercises!
Stress and high emotion tend to facilitate aging. As we’ve seen, stress releases damaging hormones into our system. Everything from our physical to mental health is affected.
Conversely, a calm, happy and stress-free existence is literally life-enhancing. Deep breathing facilitates all of those things.
There you have it: 7 top benefits of inhalation exercises that explain the importance of breathing.
In a world full of challenge and adversity, it’s crucial that we make the effort to look after ourselves. Sometimes, the best ways to do it are the simplest.
As we’ve seen, taking the time to breathe deeply may be all it takes to feel better.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted exactly why that’s the case!
Would you like to read more articles like this? Be sure to check out the other posts in our health and wellbeing section on the blog.
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