The Power of Slow, Relaxed, Gentle Breathing

We know it is necessary to breathe but do not always appreciate how important it is to breathe well.

In all types of meditation, energy practices, and in martial arts, breathing is the primary focus. The reason is that 80 percent of the energy we get for any activity is through our breathing, only 20 percent comes from diet and sunlight.

Breathing well is not only significant for accomplishing our tasks, whether work or play, but it is also vital for physical health, mental and emotional calm, and for acquiring a sense of inner peace.

The Power of Slow, Relaxed, Gentle Breathing

If you suffer from anxiety you may sometimes tire of hearing people recommend breathing slowly, calmly, or deeply to reduce symptoms. However, working with the breath is arguably the number one way to manage anxiety. It is at least in the top three. The benefits of slow, relaxed breathing for our overall well being are numerous.

Things to consider:

  • Cats and dogs breathe about 25 to 27 times each minute and live 10 to 16 years (average). Sea turtles, known to live a century or more, breathe three to five times per minute. The average person breathes 15 to 20 times every 60 seconds. Research has shown that when people slow their rate of breathing to 10 or 12 breaths per minute, it reduces the body’s level of stress and can lower blood pressure.
  • When we breathe 15 times per minute, only 60 percent of the air in our lungs is changed or exchanged. When our breathing is slower and relaxed, 100 percent of the air in our lungs is changed, supplying our body with more oxygen for activities.
  • Breathing deeply and slowly energizes our nervous system. It sounds as if this would make us more nervous, but the opposite is true. When our nervous system is oxygenated it can effectively send signals at the right time to the parts of the body that require its message. There is much activity in the body that needs coordinating so an efficient communication system is necessary for tranquility, and for robust health.

Super Simple and Enjoyable Breathing Exercise

The exercise has three steps:

  • First, put a smile on your amazing face.
  • Second, breathe slowly and in a relaxed manner (your stomach should pooch-out a bit when you inhale).
  • Third, continue the gentle, smile-enhanced breathing.

To increase the effectiveness of this exercise, imagine something beautiful as you breathe.

The smile you wear tells your body to get busy manufacturing endorphins, those endearing hormones that help us feel good. Our body’s tissue and muscles respond to endorphins by relaxing, allowing cells to take in more oxygen. More oxygen means better energy and calmer nerves.

Source: Master Chunyi Lin, Spring Forest Qigong, Learning Strategies
Photo by Honey Kochphon Onshawee from Pixabay

Anxiety Support Groups

Latest Post by digby Tue, 11/12/2019 - 5:48pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by digby Tue, 11/12/2019 - 5:49pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by MillieM Mon, 11/04/2019 - 3:23pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by MillieM Mon, 11/04/2019 - 2:58pm
Comments: 2

More Articles

Anxiety develops after an extended period of stress, usually six months or longer. When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can severely...

The first step in managing anxiety stomach pain is determining the nature, and causes of your discomfort.

For the best treatment, anxiety...

As anyone who has experienced one knows, anxiety attacks are very frightening episodes of intense fear or panic. In addition to the severe...

Royce White has never been one to let obstacles get in the way of his dreams. An inspiring young man and stellar athlete, White was drafted by the...

Some people with panic disorder have a pretty good idea about when a panic attack is likely--they know to expect one as the result of a certain...

More Articles

Anxiety sufferers in the 21st century have a relatively new avenue of help and support: the Internet. As more and more people turn to Google first...

How should Wellbutrin be used?

Wellbutrin is an oral antidepressant medication. Wellbutrin is used to treat the major depressive disorder...

Have you ever heard the expression, “A cup of probiotic yogurt a day helps keep anxiety at bay”?

Not likely since it was just made up, but...

By now, everyone knows that exercise improves health on many levels--including mental health as well as physical health. There have been a number...

According to new research, T cells—best known for their role in fighting infections—may be one of the key players in elevated blood pressure...

Two new studies shed light on the link between digestive irritation and anxiety, suggesting that physical digestive problems may cause...

In the biggest clinical trial to date testing this drug, the anesthetic ketamine delivered big and quickly to patients with treatment-resistant...

Everyone who has anxiety should have a few breathing techniques in their coping first aid kit.

The regular practice of controlled breathing...

Whether you’re a graduate student preparing for your finals or an aspiring real estate developer who needs to get a license, test anxiety affects...

People who spend much of their days in meetings have something to worry besides boredom, according to a study released by the Human Neuroimaging...

Calming your anxiety and nerves is easier said than done. “Just relax” doesn’t work, and “it’s okay” doesn’t help! So what do you do?

First...

For college students, spring brings both warmer weather and something less pleasant - finals week. Colleges and universities know that this can be...

Stressful life events are difficult for everyone, but they can be especially hard on those who already have an anxiety disorder. A recent study...

Tenormin (known generically as atenolol) is a beta blocker often used to control the physical symptoms of anxiety. Beta blockers are quite...

Perceived threats trigger the 'fight or flight' response—that sequential process that prepares you either to put up a fight to defend your life—...