Breathing Exercises for Health & Wellbeing
Breathing exercises have been used for centuries to improve physical and mental wellbeing. From yoga and meditation to tai chi and qigong, these practices have been passed down through generations, providing many benefits to those who practice them. In light of the recent Stress and Wellbeing in Australia survey conducted by the Australian Psychological Society, which found lower levels of wellbeing and higher levels of stress and anxiety symptoms in the population, it’s essential to understand the benefits of these practices.
In this blog post, we’ll explore five reasons people use breathing exercises and how they can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Younger adults (18-25) consistently report lower levels of wellbeing, with personal finances, health concerns and family problems the top stressors across all ages. Pressure to maintain a healthy lifestyle clocked in as the fourth most common cause of stress, which is troublesome because of the relationship between stress and physical health.
On that note, 72% of Australians feel that stress impacts their physical and 64% their mental health, but very few reported seeking professional help. In addition, 12% of those believe that keeping up with social media contributes mainly to stress and concern.
Uses of Breathwork
- Stress reduction: One of the most well-known benefits of breathing exercises is their ability to reduce stress and anxiety. When we’re under pressure, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid, which can lead to feelings of panic and fear. Practising controlled breathing techniques can slow our breathing and bring a sense of calm to our minds and bodies. This can be especially helpful for those who suffer from anxiety disorders or chronic stress.
- Improved respiratory function: Another benefit of breathing exercises is their ability to improve respiratory function. Specific exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing and the Buteyko method, can help to increase lung capacity and strengthen the muscles used for breathing. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with respiratory issues such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Increased energy: Controlled breathing can also increase oxygen flow to the body and brain, leading to increased energy and improved mental focus. This can be especially beneficial for athletes and those who suffer from fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Improved sleep: Deep breathing exercises can also promote relaxation and help individuals fall asleep more easily. By slowing down the breath and allowing the mind to focus on the present moment, these exercises can help to calm the mind and body, leading to a more restful and restorative sleep.
- Pain management: Finally, breathing exercises can also be used as a form of pain management, particularly for chronic headaches or back pain. By focusing on the breath and allowing the mind to let go of tension and pain, individuals can learn to manage their pain more effectively and holistically.
In conclusion, breathing exercises can provide a wide range of benefits for physical and mental wellbeing. These practices can improve overall health and well-being, from stress reduction to improved respiratory function and pain management. However, it’s important to remember that developing the skills necessary to perform these exercises takes time and practice, so be patient and try to incorporate them into your daily routine.
If you’re interested in learning more about how breathing exercises can help reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email. I am happy to provide you with additional information and resources on this topic.