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  • Emily Gu

Breathing

Isn’t it crazy that something as fundamental as breathing can have immense benefits on your health?


Breathing exercises can:

  • Reduce stress levels in your body

  • Lower your heart rate and blood pressure

  • Improve diabetic symptoms for those with diabetes

  • Reduce depression

  • Help you better manage chronic pain

  • Better regulate your body’s reaction to stress and fatigue

  • Reduce the possibility of burnout for caregivers


Diaphragmatic breathing

  • A big benefit is the reduction of stress. Being stressed stops your immune system from working at full capacity which can make you more susceptible to many health conditions. As it worsens, minor inconveniences can trigger anxiety or depression. Breathing exercises can reduce the effects

  • The diaphragm is a respiratory muscle near the bottom of your ribcage, and as you breathe, your diaphragm and other respiratory muscles around your lungs will contract. Your diaphragm contracts so that your lungs can expand into the extra space and let in as much air as is necessary.

Basic procedure for diaphragmatic breathing:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position or lie flat and relax your shoulders.

  2. Put one hand on your chest and another hand on your stomach.

  3. Breathe in through your nose for about two seconds. You will feel the air moving and feel your stomach expand. (Make sure your stomach is moving outward while your chest remains relatively still.)

  4. Press gently on your stomach and exhale slowly for about two seconds.

  5. Repeat these steps as necessary.



Types of breathing exercises:

  • Mindful breathing

  • This involves focusing on your breath but not trying to change the way you breathe. However, it can slow down your breathing patterns and make you feel more relaxed. Focusing on the movement of air in and out of your body becomes a form of calming meditation.

  • Mantra breathing

  • This involves using a mantra to help you focus on your breath. A mantra is a phrase or word that you repeat to yourself to create focus. As you repeat it, you will be able to relax and meditate.

  • Square breathing

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