Everyone Needs To Breathe: Benefits Of Controlled Breathing.

Often, we cannot control what happens around us; we can control how we react.

Take a deep breath, into your belly. Pause for one second. Exhale slowly, counting to five. Repeat four times.

Guess what? You just calmed your nervous system!

Science is beginning to provide evidence on what yogi’s have been doing for centuries. Turns out, breathing is quite beneficial to our health.  Who knew?

Obviously we need oxygen to live…

However, embracing a controlled breathing exercise can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder.

When you take slow, steady breaths, your brain gets the message that all is well and activates the parasympathetic response, said Dr. Brown, in an article from The New York Times.

A study took subjects with depressive symptoms and put them into a 12-week daily yoga/coherent breathing program.  Chemicals in the brain with anti-anxiety effects increased, proving behavioral intervention can have a similar effect to an anti-depressant.

Yoga and controlled breathing for the win!

Most people I talk to, suffer from anxiety. Here are a few breathing exercises you can try.

Coherent Breathing

Andrew Rae: NY Times
Andrew Rae: NY Times

1. Sitting upright or lying down, place your hands on your belly.

2. Slowly breathe in, expanding your belly, to the count of five.

3. Pause.

4. Slowly breathe out to the count of six.

5. Work your way up to practicing this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Stress Relief

Andrew Rae: NY Times
Andrew Rae: NY Times

1. Sit up straight on the floor or the edge of a chair.

2. Place your hands on your belly.

3. As you inhale, lean forward and expand your belly.

4. As you exhale, squeeze the breath out and curl forward while leaning backward; exhale until you’re completely empty of breath.

5. Repeat 20 times.

Energizing HA Breath

Andrew Rae: NY Times

1. Stand up tall, elbows bent, palms facing up.

2. As you inhale, draw your elbows back behind you, palms continuing to face up.

3. Then exhale quickly and thrust your palms forward and turning them downward, while saying “Ha” out loud.

4. Repeat quickly 10 to 15 times.

These breathing techniques were found in the New York Times. If everyone in New York is doing it, you know it is cool!

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