1. Deep breathing improves cognitive skills.
Try this: Inhale deeply for 5 seconds. Exhale deeply for 5 seconds (really push that air out of your lungs!) Do this for 10 minutes, 6 days a week for six weeks. In one study, after completing this exercise for 6 weeks, the study participants performed mental tasks faster, and scored higher on a rapid-fire arithmetic test.
2. It can help with single-pointed focus.
Research from trinity College Dublin showed that pranayama, yoga breathing practices can help bring about clearer thinking, namely; improved ability to focus, less mind wandering, improved attention levels, improved emotions, decreased emotional reactivity. Google (and others) can help you find yoga breathing practices you can do at home.
3. It can give new college freshman a better school year. research has shown that incoming college freshman who completed an 8-session mindfulness course that also included deep breathing, showed a significant increase in life satisfaction, a drop in anxiety and depression, and even helped them drink less alcohol.
4. It can boost your health and fitness.
In one study, athletes took part in an exhaustive training session then practiced diaphragmatic breathing in a quiet place for an hour. Diaphragmatic breathing is when you breath deeply into your belly and it expands rather than your chest. The results showed that breathing and the relaxation it brings, helped protect the athletes from the long-term adverse effects of free radicals. What that means is that deep breathing after exercise can help decrease cortisol levels and increase melatonin.
5. A steady heart.
In another study, people who practiced slow, deep breathing...6 breaths per minute...each day for one month, experienced physical benefits that included a more consistent heart rate than those who didn't. Consistent heart rate helps your heart to function better.
6. Portable, free stress relief.
A study performed at the University of Catania, Sicily, showed that deep breathing improves mood and helps alleviate stress. If you're feeling stressed out, trying sighing. A study done at the University of London showed that deep breaths, including sighs, reduce physiological tension. Researchers have called spontaneous sighs "psychological and physiological resetters."
7. An alternative to medication.
A controlled breathing practice helped alleviate depression in people who didn't respond well to antidepressant medication, according to a study done at the University of Pennsylvania.
8. A benefit for sleep and depression.
A breathing relaxation exercise combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, has been shown to increase the quality of sleep for people with major depression.
9. Help for chronic conditions.
Deep breathing can help several, major chronic diseases. As a pain reliever: An intervention as simple as slowing down and breathing deeply was shown to decrease pain. it can help with high blood pressure: Research has shown that 10 minutes of alternate nostril breathing decreased blood pressure in people with a history of hypertension. And for those who suffer from diabetes, deep diaphragmatic breathing for three months can help with significant reduction in body mass index, reduction in hip-waist ratio, and a decrease in fasting and postprandial plasma glucose. And finally,
10. It can reduce inflammation.
Yogic breathing can reduce inflammation, an element of many chronic diseases. This was from a study conducted at the medical University of South Carolina. Volunteers who practiced yogic breathing who practiced two 10-minute sessions showed significantly reduced pro-inflammatory biomarkers.
WOW! that's a lot of benefits from something we all do anyway, We simply need to change some of our breathing from unconscious to conscious; a small easy thing to do that lead to big mental and physical health benefits.
Tomorrow is Wednesday and that means a visit from Dharma Frog. Rumor has it, that he has an especially powerful lesson for me this this week. I hope you'll plan on stopping by to see what my wise friend and mentor has to say. Until then, I wish you