“Take a deep breath” is perhaps the most common advice that people give to a person panicking for a certain reason. And surprisingly, the advice of controlled breathing helps the person get back to his/her calmer self, almost every time.
Now imagine what would happen if you practice such breathing techniques on a regular basis. This is where you may come across the term breathwork.
Breathwork is an umbrella term for different types of breathing exercises and techniques. During breathwork, you consciously change your breathing pattern.
For thousands of years, people have used different techniques of breathing to improve their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. You’ll be glad to know that some popular celebrities also practice breathwork for better health.
The Benefits of Breathwork
1. Reduces anxiety and stress
When people are stressed, they are likely to take rapid and shallow breaths. This kind of breathing causes an upset in the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body, which leads to increased heart rate, muscle tension, dizziness, and other physical sensations.
With breathwork, you can make yourself take long deep breaths and counter the effects of anxiety and stress with practice. It is recommended to practice long and deep breaths from your abdomen. It helps you feel less anxious and stressed.
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2. Improves your stamina
Breathwork boosts the oxygen capacity in the person’s blood, leading to an overall improvement of energy levels. The amount of oxygen inhaled through breathing has a direct impact on the amount of energy released into our cells.
The body can further use the extra energy generated due to breathwork to boost immunity. It also offers you the ability to push your limits while doing a physical workout as the body is now flooding with oxygen. So, make it a habit to practice breathwork for better stamina and immunity.
3. Increases self-awareness
If you practice breathing through the mouth, it can create an experience of deep presence and self-awareness. This practice gives you the space to go within, where you feel like the time has stopped. In a state like this, the brainwaves get the chance to slow down and enter a dreamlike state of being.
This is often linked with mindfulness, which is the state of being present in the present moment, aware of your surroundings. It further improves your concentration and helps you focus on the tasks at hand without being distracted by the surroundings. In other words, the breathwork helps you to be aware of your present circumstances.
4. Improves sleep quality
There are several factors that affect our sleep quality. While our lifestyle choices and eating habits have a certain impact on our sleep, it is our mental health that is directly linked with the quality of sleep. As you may have guessed, with breathwork, you can improve your sleep quality as well.
The deep breathing that people practice in breathwork helps to calm the nervous system in individuals. It can further help reduce the effects of stimulants (caffeine or sugar) and calm the stress, allowing the individual to get better sleep at night. Also, having a quieter mind due to breathwork practices allows us to fall asleep faster and get deep sleep.
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5. Helps overcome fear
Fear, trauma, and bottled-up negative emotions can take a toll on your physical health as well as mental well-being. Therapies can help in identifying the fears and traumas, but they don't always show you the way to dislodge them from the body. These fears can keep you from living your life to the fullest.
Breathwork can be quite effective in unraveling the fear and traumas, limiting your beliefs and negative emotions. Each time you breathe in, channel the breath to a position where you feel tension or fear. Imagine the oxygen going to the spot and dissolving tension or fear. And when you breathe out, imagine the fear being exhaled.
6. Reduces chronic pain
If you experience chronic pain, you may have tried different things to distance yourself from the pain. With such an activity, you are also keeping your body from healing it. Breathwork helps reconnect our body, allowing you to jumpstart the healing process. Moreover, taking deep breaths allows your body to release endorphins, which reduces sensitivity to pain.
Also, the practice of deep breathing helps manage pain by allowing your body to change the acidity level in it, making it more alkaline. Breathwork also helps reduce the level of Cortisol, which is the stress hormone, reducing the effect of pain. Furthermore, deep breaths that are taken from the abdomen help relax the muscles, allowing you to feel certain relief from the pain.
7. Improves digestion
Breathwork helps stimulate and increase blood flow throughout the digestive tract, improving intestinal activity. Breathwork also allows your body to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of gas and bloating. Moreover, the practice of deep breaths reduces stress, causing a fall in the level of Cortisol – further leading to less gut inflammation.
Also, when you practice breathwork, it helps you manage your stress and anxiety levels, allowing you to boost your mood. It a situation like this, you are likely to make better food choices. So, in a way, you keep yourself from overeating and having wrong foods, saving yourself from digestion issues.
8. Triggers spiritual awakening
Breathwork creates a greater space for self-exploration and spiritual awakening, establishing a deeper connection to yourself and the universe.
Breathwork can help you have psychedelic experiences and allows you to connect to your spirit in a safe and legal way. In other words, it helps you establish a deep sense of oneness, with a deep sense of safety and surrender.
It is also believed that the practice of breathwork also affects the way our conscious and sub-conscious minds interact, allowing you to understand everything in new and deeper ways. It can help you provide greater insights and give you better access to present movements from which you can create a new reality.
9. Helps detoxification
Deep breathing can also help detoxify your body. This can further boost your lung efficiency and heart health. More than 50% of the toxin your body stores are supposed to be exhaled through breathing. As you may realize, carbon dioxide is one of the main toxins present in our body. With rhythmic breathing practices, you can not only get rid of the toxins but also boosts your lymphatic system.
Breathwork helps your body to take in more oxygen-rich blood in the cells. And with more oxygen capacity, your physical workout routine can be improved, which further supports expelling toxins from the body. Also, deep breathing boosts blood circulation is another way to eliminate and detoxify.
10. Boosts self-love
Most of us find it difficult to love ourselves. And in the time of social media, where people have unrealistic standards for being happy and beautiful, it can be difficult for people to love themselves. However, breathwork allows us to seamlessly shift out of our mind and intellect into our body as we switch our breathing from nostrils to breathing from mouth.
There is no way to quantify self-love. However, with breathwork practices, you can emerge fully in the experience. This allows you to establish a deeper connection with yourself. And by fostering a deeper relationship with yourself, you can begin to get closer to the goal of loving yourself. As it appears, self-love is one of the most valuable things that help you live your life to the fullest.
There is no doubt that breathwork can have a ton of benefits on our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. But you need to practice it properly, or you may find it difficult to get the desired results. So, it is always better to start such practices under the supervision of a qualified and skilled trainer, who can guide you in performing the exercise in the right manner.
Oliala Lee is a Biology teacher at a high school in the United States. Se is also associated with MyAssignmenthelp as an expert. She offers assignment help to students on request. She also takes an interest in yoga, meditation, and personal fitness.