Everybody is breathing all the time, and most of us don’t really give it much thought throughout the day. But did you know that your breathing habits have a direct effect on your health and well-being? Whether you’re feeling stressed out and tense, are in a scary situation, or panicking about something, concentrating on your breath can help you feel calmer and more in control. Deep breathing exercises are often taught to patients who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, and paying more attention to how you breathe while sleeping at night can make a huge difference to your overall health and wellbeing. Here’s why breathing is so important for your physical and mental health.
Better Athletic Performance
Your body gets oxygen from breathing, which is important when you are doing any sort of exercise or physical activity. Knowing how to control your breathing by breathing in steadily through your nose will help you reach peak athletic performance and go for longer when you exercise without becoming out of breath or experiencing discomfort. As breathing properly is important in yoga, if you enjoy this exercise, it’s important to learn how to focus on your breathing and keep it steady so that you’ll be able to get all the benefits that come with doing the various poses and exercises.
Most of us don’t realize how we are breathing while we are asleep at night, but the truth is that whether you breathe through your mouth or nose can make a big difference to your overall health and wellbeing and your sleep quality. Plus, breathing through your mouth can often lead to snoring when you’re asleep, which can disturb your partner or other people in the house with you if it’s loud enough. Mouth breathing at night can also leave you waking up with a sore and irritated throat along with increasing your risk of various diseases. Thankfully, there are several things that you can try to encourage yourself to breathe through your nose while sleeping, including training yourself to sleep on your side and using anti-snoring aids.
Destress and Feel Calmer
If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or panicked about a certain situation, your breathing can make all the difference to how you handle it and how easily you can get back in control of your feelings. When we are stressed or anxious, this will often lead to a faster heartrate and a quickening of the breath, which in turn can leave us feeling even more out of control and worried. Breathing in deeply through your nose and slowly out through your mouth is a simple exercise that you can use to slow your heart rate down and get back in control of the feelings of stress and anxiety. Breathing in through your nose for 5 seconds, holding your breath for 2 seconds, and breathing out through your mouth for seven seconds will stimulate your vagus nerve and can help you get back in control if you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack.
How to Improve Your Breathing
The first step to improving your breathing is to become more conscious of it. Since we breathe all the time, most of us don’t really notice when we are doing it. Sitting quietly and concentrating on your breathing in and out can help you relax and become more mindful of your body at all times. Once you learn how to do this and become more in-tune with your breathing, it will be easier to get in control of it when needed.
Breathing is something that we all do automatically all the time, but even though you might not notice each time that you breathe, it has a bigger impact on your health and well-being than you might realize.