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‘Breathe-in, breathe-out' is among the best ways to maintain your emotional, mental and physical health. - By Nikita Arya
Having a blocked nose sure makes you reminiscing the good old days when you could breathe properly. Well, it is funny how it takes us an illness to realize the importance of breathing. We all know how the very process of breathing makes us alive, yet we are still unaware of how it affects our health in unimaginable ways. To unravel its impacts on your body, you must practice mindful breathing techniques.
While we live a fast lifestyle, our minds also keep running with unnecessary stress, anxiety, and thoughts of different kinds. Mindful breathing helps us to bring mindfulness into our practice in the simplest way. As we shift our attention to breathing, it automatically drifts our focus away from the stress and negativity, keeping the mind sane.
Among so many other mindfulness practices, mindful breathing is an easy yet powerful way to increase self-awareness. It allows you to focus your attention on your breathing, observe its natural rhythm, and how it feels on exhale and inhale. It lets you discover how your breath communicates with each organ of your body. Here are a few steps to get started.
1. Find a relaxed and comfortable position. Sit straight and rest your hands wherever they are comfortable.
2. Make your body feel relax and let your mind think about your body seated here, in the moment. Feel every sensation and touch it experiences. Release tightness or tension from all the areas of your body and breathe.
3. Tune into the natural rhythm and flow of your breath going in and out. There is no need to do anything with your breath, and keep breathing naturally. When you keep focusing on your breath, notice where you feel your breath in your body-abdomen, chest, throat, and nostrils. Observe how one breath ends and how the next breath begins.
4. While focusing on breathing, it is likely that your mind starts to wander. If this happens, do not get frustrated. It is natural for the mind to wander. Just keep redirecting your attention back to breathing whenever it happens.
5. Keep doing this for 5-7 minutes.
6. After a few minutes, let yourself relax and get back yourself to the moment. Think about your body seated here again. After completing this, find all your worries sinking and feel more energized.
Meditation practitioners have explored the benefits of aligning your mind, body, and soul by just breathing, and they preach different breathing techniques to accelerate the process. However, mindful breathing is simple than any other breathing practice. From stress reduction to exploring your emotions, mindful breathing practices help you unravel its physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health benefits.
1. Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Mindful breathing allows you to focus all your attention on the very process of breathing. As you shift all your attention to your breathing, you feel less stressed.
2. Lower Your Heart Rate & Blood Pressure
When you take stress-free, slow and deep breaths, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system that helps to decrease the heart rate and widen the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.
3. Prevents Diabetic Symptoms
Many people do not know how diabetes and stress have a strong connection. According to researchers, high levels of stress hormones abrupt insulin production in the pancreas, leading you to experience diabetic symptoms. Mindful breathing helps in reducing stress levels, and therefore, prevents diabetic symptoms.
4. Helps in Managing Chronic Pain
As per various researches, mindful breathing seems to help reduce consuming pain medications in many patients suffering from chronic pain.
5. Helps in Managing Fatigue
According to studies, a 10-minute mindful breathing practice had similar exhaustion-reducing effects as getting an extra 44 minutes of sleep did. So, if you ever feel fatigued, give yourself a mindful-breathing session to get a refreshing spin.
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