Breathing for a Better Life 

We all know that breathing is important. It’s a basic human function that keeps us alive. But did you know that breathing correctly can also improve your mental state of mind, physical health, and well-being? In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the benefits of proper breathing and how you can use it to improve your personal and professional life. Read on to learn more!

Why is breathing so important 

Breathing is an essential function of life, and it plays an important role in overall health. When we breathe, our lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. This gas exchange is vital for cellular respiration, which is how our cells convert the energy in food into usable ATP. In addition to supplying our cells with oxygen, breathing also helps to remove waste products from the body. Carbon dioxide is a critical gas that allows oxygen to be delivered throughout the body, balances pH, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Breathing also helps to regulate blood pressure, and heart rate, and it plays a role in controlling stress levels. Simply put, breathing is essential for life, and it plays a vital role in maintaining health.

Restoring the natural flow of breath 

Unfortunately, modern humans have adopted a horrible breathing habit: breathing through the mouth. This adaptation has occurred because of a loss of knowledge about the importance of nose breathing and the modern diet which is full of processed foods and does not require constant jaw exercise. Mouth-breathing leads to a whole host of issues. Mouth breathing is unnatural, increases the risk of infection, causes mouth dryness and bad breath, and causes snoring. Mouth breathing interferes with the natural flow of our breath, which can negatively impact our overall health in ways that may previously seem unconnected to the breath. 

To restore the natural flow of breath, we need to learn to breathe through our nose. Nasal breathing is not only more efficient, but it also allows us to take in more oxygen and filter out pollutants and allergens. Breathing through our nose also helps to humidify and warm the air we breathe, which is beneficial for our respiratory system. When we mouth breathe, we bypass all of these benefits and put our health at risk. Therefore, it’s important to make a conscious effort to breathe through our nose whenever possible. One tip is to try mouth taping at night to stop our mouths from automatically opening during the night.  

Breathing techniques to reduce anxiety 

Heart Coherent breathing is a calming practice that can help to reduce anxiety and stress. The aim is to breathe at a rate of 6 full breaths per minute, and you can achieve this by inhaling and exhaling for a count of 5 seconds. This type of breathwork can help to maximize your heart rate variability and reduce stress. In addition, one study found that coherent breathing can also reduce symptoms of depression when combined with yoga. If you are looking for a way to reduce stress and improve your overall health, coherent breathing may be worth a try.

Here’s how to practice Heart Coherence breathing:

  1. Sit up straight, relax your shoulders and belly, and exhale
  2. Inhale softly through your nose for a count of 5 seconds, expanding your belly as air fills the bottom of your lungs
  3. You don’t have to strain to fill your lungs all the way, a typical breath will work
  4. Without pausing, exhale softly for 5 seconds through your nose, bringing your belly in as your lungs empty
  5. Each breath should feel like a circle
  6. Exhale slowly, also for a count of 5 seconds
  7. Repeat at least 10 times, more if possible

Box breathing is a simple but powerful breathwork technique that can help reduce anxiety. It is easy to do and quick to learn and can be highly effective in stressful situations. Box breathing involves inhaling for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and then holding the breath for a count of four. This cycle is then repeated. The aim of box breathing is to return your breathing to its normal rhythm after a stressful experience. This technique can help clear your mind, relax your body, and improve your focus. It was popularised by Navy Seal Commander Mark Divine who taught this technique as a way for soldiers to stay calm and focused in tense situations. Box breathing is an effective way to reduce stress, and anxiety and can be used in any situation where you need to remain calm and focused.

Here’s how to practice:

1.     Find a comfortable position

2.     Centre your attention on your breathing

3.     Inhale slowly to a count of 4 seconds

4.     Gently hold your breath for 4 seconds

5.     Slowly exhale for 4 seconds

6.     Hold your breath out for 4 seconds

7.     Repeat for up to 10 minutes

Breathing is something we do automatically and often take for granted, but it plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being. Proper breathing can help improve energy levels, mood, and even physical appearance. There are many different techniques for breathing properly, so it’s important to find the one that works best for you. Once you’ve found a technique that works, make sure to practice it regularly. You may notice a difference in your energy level, mood, and even physical appearance after incorporating proper breathing into your life. For more great content that will uplift your life, be sure to read our blog.

At Uplift, our team often participates in breathwork sessions as a team where we use the method for clarity and being fresh for our day. For some candidates, the process of an interview can be a daunting task and it is completely normal to at times feel nervous. Our consultants can be heard daily when speaking with our candidates introducing them to the power of breathwork as a means to calm themselves before an interview. 

Can you think of a time where deep breathing exercises may have assisted you? 

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