3 Breathing Exercises that can be essential for health.
We all know that the four things immediately necessary for our survival are air, water, food and shelter. Without those things, most of us would not last for very long. Air, water and food are what sustain our bodies while shelter protects us from the elements. Among these things, however, the need to breathe is perhaps the most urgent for our survival.
Breathing is so important, so necessary to our survival, that it is virtually automated; in other words, we all breathe without thinking. Therefore, most of us do not consider the fact that how we breathe might have some implications for our health, and it is at least an important tool for maintaining our health and well-being.
In recent years, there has been much inquiry into the benefits of mindfulness and the implications mindfulness can have on many facets of health. Mindfulness when it comes to our surroundings, what we eat and being aware of how our feelings and emotions are influencing our behavior is an important aspect of health; The same is absolutely true about mindfulness when it comes to breathing. This simply means that being aware of and controlling our breathing in specific ways can have some influence on how we feel––particularly when it comes to managing stress, curbing anxiety and experiencing relaxation.
Cultivating mindfulness about your breathing is important and can lead to healthier, deeper breathing on a regular basis, but it is not something most will necessarily think about all the time. However, there are certain breathing exercises that may have some positive effects on your health and can be performed virtually anywhere. Some of these might be beneficial to make a habit of performing daily, perhaps during times of prayer, meditation or other quiet times. Taking time like this on a daily basis has been shown to help control stress and anxiety––something that would likely benefit us all. Check our our 3 breathing exercises below.
Belly Breathing Exercise
Belly breathing is a simple exercise to start with if you are beginning to cultivate mindfulness with your breathing. Simply lie flat on your back with one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breathe deeply through your nose; your hand on your belly should rise while the hand on your chest should remain at the same height. Exhale through your mouth slowly, allowing the hand on your belly to fall. Try to expel all the air out of your lungs. Repeat 3-10 times.
4-7-8 Breathing Exercise
This method is a popular way to tame anxiety in stressful situations. This is similar to belly breathing; the primary difference is that you are taking note of the timing of your breathing. With one hand on your belly, inhale deeply from your belly while silently counting to 4. Hold your breathe for 7 seconds, and then exhale fully for 8 seconds. Repeat this exercise until a feeling of calm is cultivated.
Morning Breathing Exercise
This exercise is useful for when you wake up. While standing with your knees slightly bent, bend forward from the waist, arms and head hanging towards the floor. As deeply as you can, inhale slowly while simultaneously returning to an upright, standing position with your head straightening last. Hold your breath for 3-5 seconds, then exhale slowly, returning the the original position. This can help loosen stiff muscles, open airways and get your day started off in a positive way.
If you have breathing problems you could read this article on how mold can affect or induce existing respiratory problems.