MINDFUL BREATHING

PROF. DR. MED. VERENA BRINER, FRCP
PROF. DR. MED. VERENA BRINER, FRCP
Body & Mind
A practice which can help you live a better life. Despite the unknowns and maybe a bit of mystical touch behind what mindful breathing is, it is commonly agreed that anybody can practice breathing mindfully. 

 Here's what you need to know about what mindful breathing is, how to do it, and the health benefits you can gain. Why practicing mindful breathing? How often were you able to realize the present moment, the Now of your quotidian and take the time to breathe through the moment acknowledging your current thoughts being aware of your mind with no judgements?

We all breathe by nature and we are not aware of this vital process that is responsible for our own living. We rarely stop to think about it. Being conscious of how we breathe bring us to the present and to the essentials of how we physically and physiologically react when facing the daily rush of lour lives.

What happens when we breathe?

Breathing is a complex process of air exchange that involves many of the vital organs in our bodies. The process is rarely realized being a natural process which is not consciously recognised. Reawakening it allows you to tap one of your body's strongest self-healing mechanisms. 

The lungs: 

During the respiratory process our lungs expand during the air intake phase and contract when we breath out. Pleura, a membrane which covers externally our lungs, is responsible for offering the response reaction of expanding/retracting of our lungs during the breathing process.

The diaphragm: 

This is a thin muscle that sits behind the lungs and on the upper part of the abdominal cavity. Next to the pleura this muscle helps the lungs to contract and expand through due to its repeated up and down movement.

The intercostal muscles: 

They are located behind the ribs and assist breathing by helping the chest cavity to expand and contract. They facilitate the diaphragm to contract and move up and down which makes space allowing the lungs to expand and so take the air in.  When we breath out this process is reverted and the diaphragm relaxes and so the space in our chest cavity is reduced that forces the lungs to eliminate the air intake.
 

 

 

Why a deep mindful breath becomes unnatural?

We live in societies that condemn emotions realizations, outspoken individuals who can express their own emotions in public. These are the ones who will struggle the most in practicing deep breathing exercises. When you hold back such strong emotion based reactions such as tears, stifling anger caused by strong confrontations, we hold our breath or breathe irregularly.

In a world so conscious of our body appearances, the way we stand and our corporal image affects breathing, too. This adds to tension and anxiety, and gradually makes shallow "chest breathing" feel normal.

As we know already, the breathing process engages the diaphragm, the strong muscle that divides the chest from the abdomen. As one breathes in, the diaphragm drops downward, pulling your lungs with it and pressing against abdominal organs to make room for your lungs to expand as they fill with air. As you breathe out, the diaphragm presses back upward against your lungs, helping to expel carbon dioxide.

What we all forget is that breathing, especially a deep breathing process is the responsively mechanism for the body oxygen intake, the vital element necessary for all our organs to perform optimally their functions.
It is so not surprisingly that this type of breathing slows the heartbeat and can lower or stabilize blood pressure.

 

Benefits on practicing mindful breathing

A correct posture of our bodies and self-realization of our own induced stress help us in eliminating harmful stressors that can cause severe heart and neurological as well as psychological health events in our lives.

HELPS IN FIGHTING THE anxiety

When we are anxious we tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest. This type of breathing is called thoracic or chest breathing. During such practice a lower oxygen intake is taken while more carbon dioxide remains in our respiratory system. This causes increased heart rate, headaches, muscles pain. An abdominal breathing practice is what works adversely to the thoracic one and help us reduce the blood pressure, ensure a healthy oxygen intake and induces relaxation. 


Helps with burnout 

Deep mindful breathing helps increasing the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind. 

If you are feeling stressed or anxious, short chest breathing will not benefit you in feeling better however a deep mindful breathing could.

So deep breath for your health from today.