Breathing is the first and most important thing we do to stay alive. We need to absorb oxygen and expel carbon dioxide through our lungs, 24/7. However, this all happens unconsciously, and fortunately we don’t have to focus while doing so. But this doesn’t mean we’re always breathing in the right way. Here are four reasons why we should pay more attention to good breathing:
1. It reduces your stress levels
The breath is linked to your autonomic nervous system. Good breathing decreases your heart rate. It stabilises CO2 levels and maximises oxygen levels in your blood, increases oxygen saturation in cells and lowers blood pressure. This will lower the overall concentration of stress hormones in your body.
2. It helps to strengthen your immune system
While breathing contributes to reducing stress, a relaxed nervous system helps to direct the immune system to attack viruses and bacteria that increase in cold weather. A constant supply of fresh oxygen to the blood has also been shown to benefit your immune system.
3. Breathing helps to regulate emotions
When your body experiences intense emotions, it will activate all kinds of mechanisms, like higher levels of adrenaline. This means your heart rate increases and your breathing gets shallower. But keep in mind that your emotions are also linked to particular breathing habits. By breathing differently, you are able to change the way you feel.
4. You can speak only as good as you breathe
Whether you like it or not, your voice reflects your state of mind. But if you don’t want your emotions to overrule, awareness of breathing really helps. This way, you can easily influence your speaking voice and how you present yourself. Hence good breathing will help you prepare for any given conversation, job interview or public performance.
So next time when you feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, start with taking a good, deep breath.