The Power of Breathing Exercises

Productivity,
April, 2021

Breathing is a vital function of our organism - we usually breathe so automatically and so thoughtlessly, so we rarely pay attention to it. However, focusing on our breathing can be really helpful in uncomfortable and tense situations. In this article I would like to share some useful information and tips about breathing exercises, and the benefits it can bring.

When can a Breathing Exercise be Useful?

You may intuitively give the advice totake a deep breath’ to your friends when they are under pressure, overwhelmed with feeling, or dealing with difficult problems. So, if you find yourself or your loved ones in a bad place, recommend them to do breathing exercises. According to Jordan Shakeshaft, breathing exercises can reduce stress, help you with concentration, and even ease chronic pain!

What to Keep in Mind

Before you start practicing breathing exercises, you should bear in mind that it must be done properly. In Sheryl Ankrom’s article, I discovered that improper breathing can have a negative effect on anxiety, even contributing to panic attacks or cause fatigue. Therefore, it’s important to know about two types of breathing:

The first type is known as chest breathing, which is the way we breathe when we’re stressed or panicking. This type of breathing is very rapid and shallow, which can lead to hyperventilation, making a panic attack worse.

The second type is known as abdominal breathing, the antithesis to chest breathing - even and deep. This is the way we should breathe during relaxation and breathing exercises. If you want to find out if you're breathing properly, put your hand on your belly, take a deep breath and see if your hand rises. If it does, then you’re doing it right! If you want to read more about these two styles of breathing, read Sheryl Ankrom’s article mentioned above.

How to Practice Breathing Exercises

According to Emily Cronkleton, it’s good to begin practicing breathing exercises for 5 minutes a day. If that seems too much, start with 2 minutes. When you start to feel comfortable, you can continue the exercise for longer, and even begin the practice multiple times a day if you feel good - just be sure to feel comfortable during the exercise. If you have any uncomfortable feelings - stop.

Are you already keen to start breathing exercises? Just open the VOS app and you’ll find them there - no scouring the internet required!

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