Do you ever feel like you just want to press pause, slow everything down and take a breather from life? Let’s be honest, the past few months haven’t been the easiest and while we are all doing the best we can, there are days when we are just not feeling it and our mental wellbeing is in need of a boost. One of the quickest most effective ways to boost your wellbeing is breath technique and the best bit – you can access it for free anytime, anywhere. There are so many wellbeing benefits to practicing breath technique, so grab a cup of tea, take a deep breath and read my top five reasons we should all have this tool in our emotional first aid kit.
It calms you in moments of stress and overwhelm
Breathing activates your vagus nerve which shifts the brain from fight or flight mode to a calmer state. It activates our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which is primarily responsible for relaxation, its job is to restore, rejuvenate, heal and conserve energy and it is a bit like activating your contentment reserves.
It improves your concentration
It is easy to feel distracted when we are overwhelmed or worried. Breath technique stimulates the cerebral cortex, which is the part of the brain that plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, cognition and awareness.
It increases energy
Breathing balances our autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary body functions like temperature. It can lower blood pressure and improve your mood as well as boost your energy levels. As we take oxygen into our body it enters the bloodstream and is carried to your muscles, where it is either used immediately or stored.
It boosts happiness
Deep breathing triggers the release of endorphins which are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress. They are often called “feel-good” chemicals because they can act as a happiness booster.
Gets rid of a headache
A headache is an indicator that the brain is deprived of oxygen. By practicing breath technique, you fuel your brain with oxygen, calm your mind and should feel instant relief.
Try this simple breath technique, perfect for beginners.
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes.
- Relax your muscles, let your body connect with the chair or the floor.
- Breathe easily and naturally.
- Tune into your breath, begin to breathe in through your nose for five counts, hold for five counts and release for five. Focus on your breath. Continue for three to five minutes. When you finish sit quietly for a few minutes.