For those trying to unwind and relax, there may be an easier way to do it than spending endless amounts of money on expensive yoga classes or therapy sessions. In fact, everyone possesses the key to relaxation within themselves and that key is proper breathing.
Proper Breathing is the Key to Relaxation
The word inspire actually translates to breathe in. In ancient times, they believed that every time a person inhaled, the divine spirit was entering them. While this may or may not be true, there is something truly inspiring about every intake of breath. The word expire means to exhale or, as it is more commonly used, to die. It’s actually fitting to view breathing in this way because when a person exhales, they rid their body of dangerous toxins. This is just one of the important ways that breathing helps to maintain a person’s overall health.
What is a Proper Way to Breath
However, there is more to it than that. Though most people are unaware of it, there is actually a proper way to breath. There is a difference between breathing for relaxation and the way that most people breathe. Usually people breathe with their chest, which results in short bursts of air that are only sufficient enough to get them through a few seconds. This is called thoracic breathing. Instead, breathing should be done through the diaphragm. When done properly, a person should only have to take 6 to 8 breaths every minute. This type of breathing pattern is called diaphragmatic breathing.
Proper Breathing for Mental and Physical Relaxation
While many associate proper breathing with yoga and the mental relaxation one gains from such an activity, there are actually physical benefits to adopting a proper breathing technique. Deep rhythmic breathing actually slows down the nervous system, which in turn can help a person to feel more relaxed. It also helps to prevent a person from feeling overwhelmed.
Panic attacks and other anxiety orders can also be caused by improper breathing techniques. When a person inhales, oxygen is brought into the body, which is then absorbed by blood cells. This reaction causes the release of carbon dioxide, which is then exhaled. Quick, rapid breaths can actually upset the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide and, in many cases, can actually lead to a panic attack.
Relaxation Starts from Gaining Control of Your Breathing
In order to fully relax, a person must gain control of their breathing and learn to breathe through their stomach. To do this, a hand should be placed on the stomach in order to watch it rise and fall through the inhale and exhale. For further assistance, the other hand can be placed on the chest. This hand will help to detect whether or not the chest is being used to breathe or not. If the hand moves, then the diaphragm is not being fully utilized and the breaths are most likely shallow and uneven.
Statistics show that once a person learns how to breathe properly during periods of relaxation, they tend to adopt a new breathing pattern altogether. This change helps to create a greater sense of calm and well being.
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