Given each of us breathes roughly 23,000 times a day you’d assume we’d be pretty good at it. The fact is we’re not. And because of that we’re missing out on a raft of well-being benefits.
Research is proving that the simple act of breathing correctly benefits both our physical and mental well-being. Shallow breathing increases the heart rate and blood pressure pushing up our anxiety levels. Whereas steady, regulated, deep breaths are proven to switch you into the parasympathetic or ‘rest and digest’ nervous system allowing you to feel calm and think clearly.
This article from the BBC is states “scientists are finding that a particular frequency of breath – at around six exhalations a minute – can be especially restorative, triggering a “relaxation response” in the brain and body”. So that’s the equivalent of breathing in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds 10 times.
‘Breath work’ was a hot well-being topic at Live Well London – a well-being event I went to recently . I was lucky enough to attend a workshop by The Breath Guy – Richie Bostock (who is quoted in the BBC article). He specialises in working with corporates to help employees unlock energy, creativity and focus all through a variety of breathing techniques.
At the start of the session he asked us all to breath in through our mouth and as we breathed out to make an audible sigh. After just a few of these steady sighing breaths looped together my shoulders felt lower and my brain clearer. As Richie said ‘it’s not called a sigh of relief for nothing’.
The most powerful aspect of creating calm in this way is that it’s quick, simple and free. As Richie says ‘the answer is right under you nose’.
You can read the full BBC news article here: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200303-why-slowing-your-breathing-helps-you-relax
And here’s Richie Bostock’s details: https://www.thebreathguy.com/