How you breathe has a lot to do with your state of mind. You take short, panting breaths when you are stressed and deep, long ones when you are relaxed. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to help your body relax. When you take deep breaths, it sends signals to your brain to relax and calm down.
Your breathing has an impact on your overall on your stress levels and your health. Just taking a few moments off your daily routine to practice deep breathing exercises can go a long way in calming your body and mind and lowering your stress levels.
|Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises||Drawbacks of Deep Breathing Exercises|
|It acts as a natural painkiller||Deep breathing can cause chest pain in some|
|Improves overall blood flow in the body||It can cause breathing difficulties and induce coughing|
|Deep breathing exercises increase energy levels||It should not be confused with big breathing|
|Deep breathing exercises relax the body and mind|
|It is believed to aid in the digestion process|
|It stimulates the Lymphatic System|
|Helps in detoxifying the body|
|It might help in reducing inflammation|
|It results in improved posture|
|It might help in improving immunity|
Advantages of Deep Breathing Exercises
- It acts as a natural painkiller
When we take deep breaths, the body releases a hormone called endorphin. Endorphins are feel-good hormones and are created by the body to act as natural painkillers. It instantly soothes the pain and calms you down.
- Improves overall blood flow in the body
Deep breathing involves the upward and downward movement of the diaphragm. This movement helps in better blood flow and circulation in the body and aids in removing the toxins from the body.
- Deep breathing exercises increase energy levels
When we are deep breathing or doing strenuous physical activities that make us pant and induces deep breathing, our energy levels shoot up. This is because while deep breathing, the oxygen levels in the blood increase due to the increased blood flow.
- Deep breathing exercises relax the body and mind
Our muscles are tightened when we become angry, frightened, or nervous. Notice how you breathe when you are angry next time; your breaths become shallow and constricted. It cuts down the oxygen supply to your body.
This makes you feel dizzy or light-headed at times. Taking long, deep breaths helps this situation considerably. It eases the tension and helps your body and mind relax.
- It is believed to aid in the digestion process
Deep breathing results in more oxygen supply to all parts of your body. This increased oxygen supply aids in better functioning of your digestive system. It also improves intestinal actions, which further improves the digestion process. Moreover, deep breathing calms the body down and results in a calmer nervous system which further facilitates smooth digestion.
- It stimulates the Lymphatic System
Shallow breathing results in diminished oxygen flow to the lymphatic system which leads to a sluggish system. This prohibits proper detoxification of the body as our breathing is what causes the lymph to move.
Deep breathing, on the other hand, helps the lymph to move properly, ensuring the efficient functioning of your body.
- Helps in detoxifying the body
It is widely believed that lethal diseases like cancer can only thrive in a body that is acidic. Deep breathing helps reduce the acidic nature of your body and makes it more alkaline. Deep breathing also reduces stress levels, which is one of the main causes of increasing the acid levels in your body.
- It might help in reducing inflammation
Deep breathing exercises have also proven to reduce inflammation in various parts of the body. This can be attributed to the increased blood flow in the body which increases the oxygen supply to the inflamed part, which helps in healing the inflammation.
- It results in improved posture
Bad posture can be a result of how you breathe. Deep breathing improves your posture. When you start breathing correctly, you will see how your body automatically stops slouching and straightens up. Deep breathing fills your lungs with air which results in your back straighten and your shoulders broadening. It is beneficial for your spine as well.
- It might help in improving immunity
Deep breathing increases the flow of oxygen in the body. When your body is rich in oxygen levels, it heals faster and absorbs the nutrients from the bloodstream better. It cleanses your body from within, thus improving your immune system and making it harder for diseases to thrive in your body.
Disadvantages of Deep Breathing Exercises
- Deep breathing can cause chest pain in some
Angina pain or chest pain as a layman would call it can be intensified by deep breathing exercises. Other people might feel back pain and cramps in their stomachs.
- It can cause breathing difficulties and induce coughing
People who are suffering from health conditions like asthma, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema might face some difficulty while practicing deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing also increases the amount of carbon dioxide that is being taken in by the lungs.
As carbon dioxide is a bronchodilator, it often leads to spasm and can inhibit the smooth passage of oxygen into the arteries and the body’s bloodstream.
- It should not be confused with big breathing
Many people confuse deep breathing with big breathing. Deep breathing involves taking controlled, proportionate breaths while big breathing means filling your lungs with unnecessary extra volumes of air. This practice of big breathing upturns the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the lungs and can cause serious health issues. This results in hyperventilation instead of calming your body, it just hyperactivates it.
While it is definitely advisable to practice deep breathing exercises, one must be careful to not make it a strenuous activity for the body which leads to hyperventilation and big breathing. Deep breathing, if practiced correctly, has numerous health benefits.
Since time immemorial, we have been told to “take a deep breath” in our moments of anxiety and nervousness, and indeed, taking a deep breath does make us feel better, almost instantly. We just have to make sure to not overdo it and immediately see a doctor if we face any kind of chest pain, at all.