Mindful Breathing: What is Mindful Breathing and What are its Benefits?
Before delving into the effects of meditation on the brain, we need to understand how the brain works at a basic level. Information about the world around us is collected and interpreted by neural circuits within the brain. They are essentially networks of neurons that communicate with each other via synaptic connections. This is very important because over time, the least used connections are cut off and the most used ones are strengthened.
When you meditate, you are using some of the most useful connections, which produce supercharged results for your health and well-being.
Meditation is not relaxation in the usual sense. Being constantly mindful is active work. The most common way is to focus on the breath. Not thinking about the breath, but simply shifting your attention to that process. You can imagine a point, like the tip of your nose. Air passes through it to one side, inflates your chest and stomach, stops for a moment and slowly exits.
Many experts believe that mindfulness is most useful when used in conjunction with lifestyle changes and effective relapse prevention strategies, as it helps people in recovery to distance themselves from cravings, especially in the early days of recovery. The relaxation associated with meditation can also help with withdrawal symptoms during detoxification.
Mindfulness practice is a simple technique that can help in many aspects of life - not just in addiction treatment.
Mindful Breathing is a very simple but powerful mindfulness meditation practice. It is about focusing on your breath - its natural rhythm and flow - and how you feel with each inhale and exhale.
Benefits of Mindful Breathing
The purpose of mindful breathing is to anchor yourself in the present moment so that you can let go of worrying about the past or the future. Mindful breathing has been proven to reduce anxiety, help with burnout, provide certain types of pain relief and reduce negative thinking.
- Providing pain relief
- Reduction of anxiety
- Decrease in negative thinking
One of the aims of meditation is to become more aware of your physical body. You are challenged to notice how each part of you feels - the sensations in your shoulders, your back, your head; how your lungs feel as they expand and contract with each inhalation. By noting these sensations, you will strengthen those connections that relate to how you perceive and interpret awareness of your physical body. The effect will last for a long time.
5 Mindful Breathing Techniques
In difficult times can feel overwhelming from having to combine work, family and household responsibilities while still finding time for hobbies, sports, etc. But we have the most powerful and accessible tool we have to help us stay stressed - our breathing.
When you breathe deeply, your brain gets more oxygen and calms your parasympathetic nervous system.
So next time you are feeling down, try one of the following breathing exercises to relieve stress.
This technique, also known as abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing, can be used for one breath or longer.
Alternating Breaths Through the Nostrils
Sit in a comfortable position, keeping your back straight. With the thumb of your right hand, clasp the right nostril and take a deep breath through the left nostril. At the peak of the inhalation, close the left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right one. Try to fill and empty your lungs to the limit. Perform five such cycles.
Get into a comfortable sitting or lying position, close your eyes if you wish. Press the tip of your tongue to your palate, slightly open your mouth and exhale completely. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose, counting to four. Then count to seven, holding your breath the whole time. Then slowly whistle your breath out, counting to eight. Repeat breathing with the count of 4-7-8 several times until you feel soothed.
Take a comfortable lying position in a quiet and comfortable place. Take a deep slow breath with your nose, concentrating on the sensations in the process. Feel your abdomen and chest rise. Imagine that the air you inhale is filled with peace and tranquility. Feel that together with it they come to you.
Breathe out slowly. Imagine that the stress and tension leave you with the air. With the next exhalation, add a word that you are concentrating on, such as 'peace'. Continue to breathe in this rhythm for 10-20 minutes.
Sit in a comfortable pose, keeping your back straight. Start inhaling while counting to four, then pause for a moment. Then exhale, also counting to four. Breathe through your nose the entire time. If you want to complicate your practice, try counting to six or eight. Make sure that all three components (inhale, pause, exhale) are of the same length.
Improve the quality of your life with mindful breathing
We hope that today's article has given you a solid starting point for incorporating mindful breathing into your daily life. You will reap many benefits, not least that you will find a calmer and more peaceful mind. Sit up straight, without crossing your legs, and breathe calmly and evenly. Take a short, calm breath and exhale through your nose. After exhaling, squeeze your nose so that no air escapes. Start a stopwatch and hold your breath until you feel the first clear urge to breathe in.