No seriously, I mean it. Close your eyes for a moment and take a breath. (It’s ok, nobody is looking at you.) Take a slow deep breath then let out all the air you can. All of it… until you feel your stomach muscles contracting.
If you dare, do it twice more. Then, breathe normally.
(Ok, now close your eyes and actually do it.)
Breathing is not only good because it keeps you alive. Breathing deeply is not just for your yoga class. Nope. Breathing deeply…
- Improves your mental clarity and focus
- Enhances your metabolism and digestive processes (Sounds too good to be true, right?)
- Increases your energy levels
- Improves your memory, processing speed, and mental agility
- Improves your mood (I know you probably don’t need this, but just in case.)
- Reduces your impulsivity, cravings, and addictions
- Enhances your immune function
Why? Well, because…
- Breathing deeply oxygenates your blood cells
- Breathing deeply balances oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood
- Breathing deeply removes carbon dioxide and toxins from body tissue
- Breathing deeply improves blood circulation
- Breathing deeply increases melatonin levels
- Breathing deeply reduces your heart rate
- Breathing deeply reduces your blood pressure
- Breathing deeply decreases your cortisol levels
- Breathing deeply reduces activation of pain centers in the brain
- Breathing deeply releases endorphins
- Breathing deeply releases muscle tension
- Breathing deeply reduces biomarkers for inflammation
Try this trick, it’s one of my favorites.
As you’re finishing your shower tomorrow morning, don’t turn off the water. Instead, spend an extra THREE minutes breathing deeply with your eyes closed.
It may take practice or feel uncomfortable at first.
As slowly as possible, breathe deeply for three minutes. We often run off to the next task or hurry to meet the immediate needs of those around us.
Instead, give yourself the gift of three minutes of breathing deeply. You deserve it. It’ll improve your day. And, those around you just might see a difference as well.