The benefits of breathing exercises
Everybody breaths unconsciously, the conversion of oxygen to carbon dioxide is a life necessity.
Few know though that controlling your breathing and doing breathing exercises improve quality of life.
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- Stress reduction .
- More concentration and mental clarity.
- Faster physical recovery.
- Less reaction and more control in stressful situations.
- It helps in physical processes such as sleep, pain control and even digestion.
Thoracic breathing vs. abdominal breathing
Most people are not aware of how they breathe, but there are generally two types of breathing:
Diaphragmatic breathing (abdominal) : this type of breathing is a type of deep, uniform breathing that engages the diaphragm, allowing your lungs to expand and creating a negative pressure that conducts air through your nose and mouth, filling your lungs with air. You probably also use this breathing pattern when you are in a relaxed stage of sleep.
Thoracic breathing (chest) : This type of breathing comes from the chest and involves short, quick breaths. When you are anxious, you may not even be aware that you are breathing this way.
The easiest way to determine your breathing pattern is to place one hand on your upper abdomen near your waist and the other in the middle of your chest. As you breathe, notice which hand raises the most.
How to do breathing exercises?
Place one hand on the upper chest and the other hand on the abdomen, under the rib cage.
Allow your belly to relax without forcing it inward by squeezing or clenching the muscles.
Follow the breathing pattern from timed breathing.
Breathe slowly through your nose. The air should move up and down your nose so that you feel your stomach rising with your other hand and falling inwards (towards your spine).
Exhale slowly. Hold your hand on your chest, which should remain relatively still.
Although the frequency of the sequence will vary depending on the state of health, most people start by exercising three times and working up to five to 10 minutes, one to four times a day.
This article is a part of theWellnessentially benefits series.