Deep breathing balances out our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, allowing our minds to function more optimally.
Our breathing occurs unconsciously: our lungs expand to take in oxygen and contract to release carbon dioxide waste. We do this by expanding and contracting our diaphragm or raising and lowering our ribs to increase or decrease the content of the chest cavity. Deep breathing benefits, occur if you more consciously do deep belly breathing. We can, with practice, force out more carbon dioxide waste with each breath.
Watch this video to learn how to get the benefits of deep breathing!
Deep Breathing Benefits of Deep Breathing
To gain the benefits of breathing deeper—we breath in to the belly (belly breathing) slowly. When breathing out we gently squeeze our stomach muscles in to release more carbon dioxide. These small changes benefit our physical health and mental performance.
Deep Breathing Benefits and the Nervous System
Deep Breathing balances out our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, allowing your body to function more optimally. It helps reduce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which are more often than not elevated due to stress-filled work environments and a lack of sleep.
Deep Breathing Benefits
It is also reported that deep breathing:
- Improves sleep quality.
- Helps lower blood sugar, and therefore the risk of diabetes.
- Helps lower blood pressure, and therefore the risk of heart disease.
- Increases the secretion of growth hormone and slows the aging process.
- Facilitates weight loss by balancing stress hormones with anabolic hormones.
- Eliminates free radicals from the body, improving cellular function and lifespan.
- Releases serotonin, which not only makes you feel good, but can reduce cravings for junk food.
- Improves mental focus and clarity by increasing blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex of your brain.