Why is slow breathing important for your health?
August 11th, 2021,
5 min read
Your breath is the conductor of your body-mind orchestra. By consciously regulating your breathing rhythm, you are able to influence what goes on in your body and mind. Conscious breathing gives you control over your health and stress levels and provides more physical balance, mental strength and emotional stability. Why is slow breathing in particular so important for your health?
We all know that breathing is important, essential even. Every system in your body depends on oxygen. You can go for more than three weeks without food, a few days without water, but you can’t survive for more than a few minutes when you stop breathing. While breathing is crucial, we do not always pay much attention to it. After all, we breathe automatically without having to think about it.
We all know that breathing is important, essential even.
Since we usually breathe unconsciously, we often don't notice when we are breathing in a dysfunctional way. When under stress, we start breathing more rapidly and shallowly, often high in the chest. This way of breathing isn't bad or unhealthy per se, for instance it serves a purpose when you are running while trying to catch the last bus. During physical exercise, excitement or fear, you start breathing faster than usual. Your body is preparing itself for action and - if necessary - to fight or flight.
Many people also breathe too fast when they are at rest. Maybe you do so as well. By doing so, your body is continuously signaled that it needs to take action, while this is not always necessary. When you often breathe too quickly, you will notice this after a while. You can develop health conditions such as muscle tension, poor digestion or troubled sleep. Also mental challenges such as restlessness, anxiety, concentration difficulties or hypersensitivity can arise from chronically rapid breathing.
When you experience these physical and mental challenges, you don’t realize this can be caused by your breathing. Let alone that your breathing could be a possible remedy. Yet, it can make a difference. With conscious, controlled breathing, you have more control over your health than you think.
We’re living in a hectic, fast-paced and high-demanding world. Every day we juggle between all the things we have to do and all the roles we fulfill, both at home and at work. We demand a lot - often even too much - from ourselves. When you often experience stressful or anxiety-inducing situations in your life, it’s smart to start observing your breathing patterns. While stressed, your breathing will be faster, more shallow and higher up in your chest.
Rapid breathing increases your heart rate and your blood pressure, your body is getting ready for action. When your heart beats faster, you get a more stressed or anxious feeling in your body, which makes you breathe in a faster way. In the end, you get trapped in a vicious circle in which you can literally breathe yourself to stress.
Stress is therefore in many cases the cause of a rapid breathing pattern. In addition, illness, chronic diseases or impactful events in your life can also affect your breathing patterns. Breathing patterns can change over time, depending on the circumstances in your life and the way you react to them. However, (rapid) breathing patterns can be changed: by regularly doing breathing exercises and consciously slowing down your breathing.
You can think of your breath as the remote control of your autonomic nervous system. Slow breathing in particular impacts your heart rate (it slows down), your blood pressure (it lowers) and your sleep (it improves).
In addition, by breathing calmly, you can also directly influence mental processes. Thus, worries and anxious thoughts will be less common and there will be more room for emotions of contentment and gratitude. Thanks to your breath, you can literally blow the stress out of your body.
That is exactly why we created moonbird: to guide you with slow breathing, so that you can lower your stress levels, sleep better and feel better in general. In a very easy, effortless and fun way. Because you probably have enough on your mind already.
Discover all the benefits of breathing with moonbird.
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