The 8 Ultimate Reasons Why Connecting to Your Breath Can Improve Mental Well-Being
How many times have you breathed in and out today? How aware are you of your breath as it moves through your body?
Research has shown that we take over 20,000 breaths a day! Although the majority of those breaths are unconscious.
Many people in the modern world tend to overlook the importance of taking deep breaths, but breathing properly is an incredibly powerful tool that can help us mentally, physically, and spiritually!
Learning how to connect to your breath and use it as an outlet during periods of stress or anxiety can have powerful benefits on your physical and mental health. Here are eight reasons why connecting to your breath can improve mental well-being.
1) Calms The Mind
In our society, we are constantly bombarded with stimuli. Our mind is busy and rarely has a chance to just be. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress. When we connect to our breath, it helps bring us back to our center and balance.
We can let go of the constant chatter and focus on the present moment. This can be a form of self-care and spirituality that helps bring us back into alignment with our SOUL/Life Balance. Breathing is an incredible tool for self-reflection and mindfulness. There are many breathing techniques like box breathing, alternate nostril breathing, or ujjayi breathing that can help reduce stress levels and create a sense of peace in your day.
For people who may have been experiencing depression or anxiety, taking deep breaths may be one of the most therapeutic ways to help calm the mind.
2) Reduces Stress
When we intentionally connect to our breath throughout the day, it helps to reduce stress. When we are stressed, our breath becomes shallow and fast. This causes us to take in less oxygen and creates an imbalance in our nervous system. The next time you feel yourself getting stressed, stop and take a few deep breaths.
Inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, and then exhale through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat this several times until you feel your stress level start to decrease.
3) Improves Sleep
One of the most important benefits of deep breathing is that it helps improve sleep. When we are stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is activated, which can lead to insomnia. But when we breathe deeply, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows down our heart rate and makes us feel more relaxed. This can help us fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
If you want a deeper understanding of why this works, Dr. David Ludwig has some insights: The breath regulates cortisol levels in the blood; low levels of cortisol indicate high stress and inflammation but also sufficient restorative sleep. These two components work together to create a balanced state of mind. The increased deep breaths also send oxygen-rich blood flow through your body while relaxing you in both body and mind.
4) Increases Energy
When you’re not taking deep breaths, your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function optimally. This can lead to feelings of fatigue and low energy. Taking deep breaths throughout the day can help increase your energy levels.
While some people feel better after a solid night of sleep, others may find that it takes more than a full night to wake up feeling ready for a new day. If you’re someone who struggles with waking up feeling energized and refreshed, try breathing exercises before heading into work, school, or really any other obligation that doesn’t light you up. If you do this, you’ll jumpstart your morning so that you’ll have a great start right off the bat.
5) Centers The Body
When we are stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is activated and we go into fight or flight mode. This means that our body is in a state of high alert, which can lead to several problems including high blood pressure, shallow breathing, and a racing heart.
However, when we connect to our breath and practice breathing exercises, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which turns off the stress response and allows the body to relax.
This leads to several benefits including lowered blood pressure, deeper breathing, and a calm mind. You will also be able to create a balance between your physical and spiritual life with deep relaxation being brought on by both yoga and breathwork. By implementing these two practices, you will be able to make space for self-care so that you can give more attention to yourself than ever before.
6) Balances Emotions
When we get upset, our breathing quickens and becomes shallower. This causes our sympathetic nervous system to kick into gear, which can lead to a stress response. By focusing on your breath and slowing it down, you can send a signal to your body that it’s time to relax. This can help to balance your emotions and bring you back to a state of calm.
When you practice SOUL/Life Balance through connecting to your breath, your mind and body are more relaxed and open to making new connections. SOUL/Life Balance is about being mindful of what is important for you, for others around you, and for the environment in which you live or work. This practice is about investing in yourself because the better you feel on the inside will affect how others feel around you.
This newfound sense of self-worth will trickle into all aspects of life; relationships with friends and family members will improve; happiness will be created within yourself while doing things like taking time out each day to go for a walk or reading an uplifting book at night before bedtime. You will find more clarity in your thoughts, become more optimistic, and find greater contentment when practicing self-care!
7) Increases Focus And Clarity
Forget spending loads of cash on expensive nootropics to activate a clear mental state, all you need is a breath of fresh air!
When you connect to your breath, you are essentially telling your brain to fire on all cylinders. This allows for increased focus and clarity because you are no longer scattered. You are now present and can give your undivided attention to the task at hand. This can be especially helpful when you’re trying to balance multiple tasks or projects.
8) Improves Breathing Patterns
When you’re stressed, your breathing becomes shallower and more rapid. This causes tension in the body and can lead to further stress and anxiety. However, when you connect to your breath, you’ll be able to maintain your SOUL/Life Balance and improve your breathing patterns. This, in turn, will help reduce stress and improve your overall mental well-being. It also allows you to relax and focus on what is happening now rather than what might happen in the future.
When we take care of ourselves physically by cultivating self-love through mindful breathing, we also cultivate self-love emotionally. The two are inseparable as one grows with the other so if we want to feel better about ourselves mentally, we need to start with our breath. As you finish reading this blog post, try taking a deep breath and noticing how it makes you feel. It should make you feel alive and give a sense of what I mean when I say “SOUL/Life Balance” which brings peace of mind.
In summary, connecting to your breath is crucial for improved mental well-being and overall health. Connecting to your breath can be a powerful tool for managing stress and anxiety. If you’re not already incorporating breathwork into your daily routine, I encourage you to give it a try. A great way to start practicing is by taking five minutes out of your day (and even just once) and focusing on breathing deeply; it’s literally that simple!
The key is to ask yourself daily, “How can I feed my Soul today”?
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