B reathing is one of the essential functions that our bodies perform to keep us alive. Oxygen is largely responsible for affecting our brain activity and thus our behaviors. Many people take breathing for granted as they don’t think about this subconscious behavior, but if you truly focus on diaphragmatic breathing for even 5 minutes a day, it can give way to a large array of both short-term and long-term benefits for the mind and for the body! 872.903.1904 TIGER TALK Winter Vol. 1 TIGERNEURO.COM
Benefit 1: Release of toxins
By using diaphragmatic breathing, the lungs can receive the optimal amount of oxygen needed. With more oxygen in the lungs, there is more capability for the lungs to perform the necessary gas exchange and release the toxins that we breathe and the waste we produce. This causes an overall beneficial impact on the body, your energy, and your health.
Benefit 2: Anti-aging
Over time, you will build greater flexibility in your heart rate, which leads to multiple important health improvements. These include better cognition, memory performance, mood, and resilience, all while reducing cortisol levels and anxiety. You will learn to self-regulate how you respond to life and by doing so, you’ll breathe life back into your body! Inhale from your core and count to four slowly, then exhale to the same tempo. Your stomach, not your chest, should expand. Try for 6-8 deep “belly” breaths per minute. This is called diaphragmatic breathing. This allows for the full capacity of oxygen to fill your lungs and for you to exhale the most toxins out of your body. • Tips for proper breathing •
Breathing can also have anti-aging effects on the body and reduce stress/anxiety levels in the brain. Stress releases glucocorticoids into the body which, at chronically high levels,can have aging effects on the body. With correct breathing, the stress response can be better regulated and thus lower the amount of stress hormones in the body.
Benefit 3: Pain relief
On top of the anti-aging benefits, studies show that breathing techniques can act as a pain reliever. The body has its own ways of regulating pain, and by getting the optimal amount of oxygen into your lungs, the body can reduce tension levels. Many times, the response to pain is holding one’s breath, but breathing through painful stimuli is more beneficial.
Benefit 4: Anti-stress and lower blood pressure
Not only can diaphragmatic breathing assist in recovery from the body’s stress response, it can also reduce the consequences of high stress. Proper breathing enables the mind to battle negative emotions by releasing pleasure-inducing neurochemicals which work to elevate moods.
Intentional training in breathing will teach your body to breathe slower all the time without you even thinking about it! Impressive!
Repeat in the morning, during the day, and at night for 3-5 minutes.
So, what are the benefits? Your brain will receive more oxygen as you engage the full capacity of your lungs. This increased oxygen intake lowers the stress on your heart too!
Contributing writer: Isabel Michalak, Tiger Neuroscience
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