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The Good Stuff
Benefits of Breathing Deeply
by B. A. Llewellyn
Length:  521 words

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The Benefits of Breathing Deeply 

Breath is life!  The more fully we breathe, the more life energy we are giving to our self.  This energy is used by all parts of our lives, our emotions, our minds, our bodies.

People who consistently breathe deeply tend to be more positive and healthy.  As long as we breathe in a shallow manner, we are inviting depression and anxiety and sickness into our lives.  We are literally starving for some good clean air, and a sweep-out of all our toxins.  Shallow breathing denies both requests.

Deep breathing is the hero, cleaning out the poisons lingering in our lungs, bodies and minds and replacing them with clean oxygen.  Deep breathing can increase confidence and self-esteem.

25% of all the air we breathe is headed (pardon the pun) for our brains.  The more oxygen we supply to this priority organ, the brighter and happier we become.  More oxygen means more endorphins (the natural "high" hormone). Our memories improve with more oxygen.  We find it easier to study and to learn.  We even start to look younger!

Breathing out is as important as breathing in.  Shallow breaths mean the lower, and larger, part of our lungs is often filled with left over toxins waiting for the next deep breath or big yawn to make their escape.  The rest of our body tries to rid us of these unhealthy left-overs, working much harder than they are meant to do.  Anything that is overworked tends to run down, or break down, faster than if working at the comfortably correct rate.

The heart is a primary example of this overload.  In the Netherlands, Dr. Dixhoorn conducted a study comparing two groups of heart attack patients.  One group was trained in simple diaphragmatic breathing.  The other group was not.  Within the two years of the study, seven out of the twelve members of the untrained group had second heart attacks.  The breathing group had none!  Not one single second heart attack amongst the entire group.

Other physical benefits of breathing deeply include:

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Greater blood volume

  • More haemoglobin

  • Stronger tendons and ligaments

  • Better internal heat regulation

  • Thicker cartilage

  • Larger muscles

  • Less body fat

  • Denser bones

  • More efficient lungs

  • More blood pumped through the heart

  • More oxygen extracted from the blood

  • More capillaries

  • Lower heart rate

There are many more benefits of breathing deeply.  Some of these benefits include couple, family, and group work.  Breathing deeply together makes us richer and more balanced in our relationships.  The Hawaiian word "ohana", meaning "family", comes from an older meaning.  It meant the "people who breathe together".

We do not have to suddenly start breathing fully and deeply all the time.  All worthy goals take a little patience.  Breathing a little more fully, for longer every day, is an attainable achievement for most of us.  We can increase the efficiency of our lungs a thousand fold by increasing our air intake by a mere 5% on each breath.  A small increase every day will soon see us all breathing deeply, and enjoying the benefits!

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