Mindful Breathing Can Achieve Tremendous Health Benefits

Being human, we forget the wonder of breathing. We take it for granted. It takes a health crisis or bad air quality for us to appreciate this basic, yet profound ability.

Yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques all depend on focusing on the breath. There are many benefits of meditation and proper breathing is an important part of learning how to calm the mind and body.

The first thing to consider is how well you care for your body and lungs. Basic guidance is to do the following:

  • Don’t smoke

  • Avoid exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants

  • Prevent infection by washing your hands with soap and water and avoiding crowds during flu season

  • Be sure to get regular aerobic exercise to keep your lung capacity strong and healthy

The benefits of bringing attention to your breathing are measurable. By learning a few simple breathing techniques, you can:

  • Reduce stress levels in your body

  • Lower your heart rate

  • Lower your blood pressure

  • Improve diabetic symptoms

  • Reduce depression

  • Better manage chronic pain

  • Better regulate your body’s reaction to stress and fatigue

  • Reduce the possibility of burnout for caregivers

Psychologists have also been utilizing the power of the breath. Various breathwork techniques allow patients to explore issues related to consciousness. The work of Dr. Stan Grof and his development of Holotropic Breathwork integrates insights from consciousness research, transpersonal psychology, and Eastern spiritual practices. His work connects the simplicity of the breath with the life issues that patients may find themselves confronting at various stages of life.