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4 Benefits Of Mindful Breathing (and How To Practice It)

For those who do it regularly, practicing mindful meditation and breathing can drastically improve the quality of life and overall satisfaction.

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mindful breathing

There’s so much going on in the world right now. You can’t go one day without hearing about another natural disaster or tragedy taking place somewhere around the globe. With so much chaos occurring at the same time, it’s important to practice self-care in the form of mindful breathing.

Everyone needs to breathe to live, but that doesn’t mean you’re breathing the proper way. Improper breathing techniques can harm your health by giving you headaches, body pains, inflamed muscles, anxiety, and more. Failing to learn the proper way to breathe can seriously impact your overall health and wellbeing.

If you still aren’t convinced, there are many reasons why you should practice mindful breathing. Let’s dive into a few of them right now.

Regulate Emotions

Did you know that the way you breathe directly affects how you feel? Many people don’t realize the impact that breathing has on their emotions. When practiced, mindful breathing can help you regulate your emotions and prevent burnout even during the most stressful or challenging situations.

When angry or upset, you’ve probably heard someone tell you to take a deep breath. This is because different emotional states are associated with certain respiration patterns, according to a recent study. So, when stressed or agitated, you tend to shorter, labored breaths than if you’re calm and at ease.

By practicing breathing while experiencing uncomfortable emotions, you’re able to better understand and control them. Instead of letting them determine your mood, you can decide what to do with them. You can control how you feel simply by using your breath!

Reduce Anxiety and Curb Depression

When you’re anxious, sad, or depressed, your breathing tends to go haywire. You use short, labored breaths that only make you feel worse. Momentary stress causes you to tense, making it difficult to breathe and distribute oxygen throughout your body. The longer you’re stuck in this pattern, the worse you’ll feel and the harder it’ll be to finish your tasks

If you experience anxiety and depression, then practicing mindful breathing can greatly reduce your symptoms. Shallow breathing will continue to amplify those negative feelings and leaves no room for the calm. Using long, deep breaths allows for the even distribution of oxygen in the bloodstream.

Increase Patience

When you have a shortness of breath, you also have a shortness in patience. Low patience can lead to irritability, anger, sadness, and many other emotions that don’t make you feel good. 

As humans, there’s very little we can control. Perhaps you’re irked about your workload or the weather changing from warm to cold. The point is that you need to be able to handle any situation or circumstance that comes your way. You shouldn’t want to control everything around you. Instead, you need to learn how to stop worrying and adjust. 

Mindful breathing brings you to the present moment and lets you recognize it for what it is rather than what you want it to be. Instead of complaining about the cold weather, you can learn to live with and perhaps even appreciate it down the line. Bringing awareness to the current situation is the only way to handle it effectively.

Produce Awareness

People lead such busy lives that most aren’t even aware they’re breathing improperly. They’re stressed and unhappy but can’t seem to understand why. Although breathing likely isn’t the only hurdle they’re facing, it’s one they can tackle to instantly feel better.

When you’re aware of your thoughts, sensations, and feelings, you’re able to cope with them in a healthy manner. It’s easier to use clear communication and connect with others when you know yourself. Without awareness, people are doomed to repeat their mistakes. It’s essential to practice mindfulness so you’re aware of the state of your mind and body at all times.

How to Practice Mindful Breathing Correctly

Most people breathe using their chest, which results in shorter, labored breaths. It’s become the normal way of breathing, so it’s no wonder that so many people suffer from the same symptoms.

Practice mindful breathing using these simple steps:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position. Whether it’s on the floor crossing your legs or in a chair, make sure you’re comfortable before practicing.
  2. Use your belly. Most people use their chest to breathe, but this doesn’t give you full breaths due to weaker chest muscles.
  3. Focus on each individual breath. Your mind will wander, especially the first few times you practice. It’s okay as long as you recognize it and bring your attention back to your breath. You’ll likely have to continue doing this until you get the hang of it.
  4. Don’t try to be in control. Let your thoughts go as naturally as they come. The point is to be aware of your thoughts, acknowledge them, and send them on their way without trying to interfere.
  5. Breathe in deeply for as long as you can until it’s time to slowly release. Continue this practice until you feel yourself becoming more calm and focused.

Your Turn

For those who do it regularly, practicing mindful meditation and breathing can drastically improve the quality of life and overall satisfaction. It’s a game-changer for those with poor breathing habits who have too much on their plate and constantly feel stressed or depleted of energy. When you take a moment to slow down and appreciate each breath, you slowly start to feel the benefits both in your mind and body. Will you start practicing mindful breathing? 

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