6 Benefits of Mindful Breathing
What are benefits of mindful breathing? It’s something we do everyday, every moment of our lives and we don’t really think about it do we? It’s automatic. Human beings breathe an average of 17,000 to 20,000 times per DAY! Is that crazy or what? How many times out of that 20,000 did you give ANY thought to that breath? I would daresay… most could say 0.
What is mindful breathing? How does it impact other areas of your life? Here are 6 benefits of mindful breathing and I will also be sharing a 3 minute mindfulness breathing exercise!
- Mindful breathing before a meal will help calm your nervous system bringing more awareness to the enjoyment of your food. Bring attention to your meal as you chew. Be present with what you are eating. It will help you slow down during a meal. Reducing stress helps to improve digestion.
- During a stressful situation where anger and emotions are involved, if you will step away and practice mindful breathing you will notice how the tension reduces in your body. You will be able to shift your emotionally charged body to a place of balance and reason.
- Mindful breathing helps to bring clarity to your thinking. If you are anxious or scattered in your thinking, taking a few moments to bring attention to your breathing will help you regroup and focus on the task at hand.
- Mindful breathing attention during different times in your work day will help relax and re-energize you during your day.
- Mindful breathing promotes more clear communication. When you are able to be more present with individuals, you are able to be in a better listening mode and then you are able to better communicate your intentions. Rushing through a conversation or meeting keeps you from fully listening to the other individual.
- Taking time for mindful breathing will improve your personal state of overall calmness and improves your own sense of personal well-being.
“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.” Andrew Weil, MD
3 Minute Mindfulness Breathing Exercise
I want you to experience full attention to your breathing. This exercise is modified from the wellness program I attended: (Wellness Inventory)
1. Get in a comfortable position (lying, sitting, stannding, whatever is best for you. I personally LOVE my recliner)
2. Exhale deeply, contracting the belly.
3. Inhale slowly as you expand the abdomen.
4. Continue inhaling as you expand the chest.
5. Continue inhaling as you feel your collarbones lift.
6. Pause briefly. Don’t hold..
7. Exhale in reverse pattern, slowly. Release the shoulders, relax the chest, contract the belly.
This requires some practice to make the process smooth. Practice so that inhalation and exhalation are equal. Then allow the exhalation to become a little longer. Try this for at least 3 minutes.
Funny how we do something 20,000 times/day and never pay attention to it. Try over the next few days to take a few moments out during the day and pay attention to your breath. You will begin to find how this helps in a relaxation process. You will see just how stopping to pay attention to your breathing will help release tension and stress.
Here are a few breathing/mindfulness/relaxation/meditation audios from one of my favorite holistic doctors, Dr. Andrew Weil:
When I first started my journed of wellness, I was overwhelmed and stressed to the max. When I took the Wellness Inventory Assessment as a wellness coach student I discovered my breathing was the least effective aspect of my life, and it was where I was most motivated to change to get my life back into a healing balance. This is one reason mindful breathing is so important to me now.
If you would like to discover where you are on the Wellness Continuum, you may want to contact me about taking the Wellness Inventory Assessment for yourself. The other thing you can do, if you haven’t already, is to opt in for my FREE E-book: De-Stress, Renew, Be Whole.
For now, BREATHE…