The practice of conscious breathing has long been used in a variety of spiritual and healing practices, and there is now a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that it can be beneficial for mental health.
By focusing on our breath and consciously slowing it down, we can help to counteract the usual fight-or-flight response that is associated with stress and anxiety. This can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even physical pain.
In this article, we will discuss some simple breathing practices that can be used to improve mental health. We will look at how to use breathing techniques to reduce stress and anxiety, and how to use them to create a sense of calm and well-being. By the end of this article, you will better understand how simple breathing practices can help improve your mental health. So, let’s get started!
Different Breathing Practices to Try for an Improved Mental Health
1. Belly Breathing
Belly breathing is one of the most effective and simple breathing exercises that can help improve your mental health. It is a low-impact technique that can be used to relax your body, reduce stress, and increase mindfulness. This practice can help you achieve a better sense of self-awareness, allowing you to better recognize and manage your emotions.
When practising belly breathing, you should sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your stomach, just below your ribs, and the other on your chest. Inhale deeply through your nose, expanding your belly outward. Your chest should remain still.
Exhale through pursed lips as if you are trying to whistle. Feel your hand on your stomach sink as you push out all the air. Repeat this technique 3 to 10 times and take your time with each breath.
Give it a try and see how it can help to improve your mental health.
2. Mindful Diaphragmatic Breathing
The practice of mindful diaphragmatic breathing is based on the concept of diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing involves using your diaphragm to control the flow of air into and out of your lungs. It is a form of deep breathing that helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
When practising mindful diaphragmatic breathing, you should focus your attention on the sensation of your breath. Pay attention to the way it enters and leaves your body, and how it moves through your lungs. Notice the temperature and texture of the air as it passes through your nose and mouth.
Allow yourself to just observe your breath and not try to control it. If your mind starts to wander, simply redirect your attention back to your breath. When you are done, take a few moments to notice how you feel. You may find that you feel calmer and more relaxed.
3. Counted Breathing
Counted breathing is a breathing practice that can be used to bring your body and mind into a state of relaxation. It involves counting each breath, either in your head or aloud, and focusing on the physical sensation of the breath as it moves through your body. This practice can help to slow your breath, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your overall mental health.
When practicing counted breathing, you will begin by inhaling slowly and deeply through your nose, counting each breath as you do so. You can count from one to four, or even higher if you desire. As you count each breath, focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body. After inhaling for the desired number of breaths, you will then slowly exhale, counting each breath as you do so.
Once you have completed a few rounds of counted breathing, you can use the practice to bring your attention to the present moment and focus on any thoughts or emotions that may be present. Acknowledge them, but do not dwell on them or let them affect your breathing. Instead, focus on your breaths and the physical sensations associated with them.
The Bottom Line
Breathing exercises are an important tool for improving mental health. Not only do they help to reduce anxiety and stress, but they also help to promote relaxation, focus, and mindfulness. When done regularly, breathing exercises can help to improve your overall mental well-being.
At Elated You, we offer transformational breathing training tailored to your individual needs. Our experienced trainers will guide you through the practice and provide you with the tools and techniques you need to become more connected with yourself and your inner power. Book a FREE discovery call today to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals!