Habit Number One – Breathe
Take. a. deep. Breath.
We’ve all heard that phrase. However, we often overlook the benefits of breathing; and breathing correctly, or “diaphragmatic” breathing. Did you know that on average we take 17 000 breaths a day and more than 6 million breaths a year! Your body is hard at work all day every day, even when you’re resting.
Breathing is fundamental to each part of our bodily function. When we breath in oxygen, our lungs send oxygen to our bloodstream which is vital to our health.
Being intentional with breathing tells our brains to adjust the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system and brings favorable benefits to our bodies. Here’s a few of them:
Improved mental health
If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or poor stress management, then practicing diaphragmatic breathing can help to relieve your symptoms.
When we take deep breaths, our body sends signals our brains, inducing a relaxed and calm response.
Reduced blood pressure
Our circulatory system benefits greatly from breathing well. Our heart rates follow our breathing patterns. Short, quick breaths and our heart rate goes up, resulting in higher blood pressure. When we concentrate on taking deep breaths, we in turn slow our heart rate, thereby lowering our blood pressure.
Strengthens the Immune System
When we breathe intentionally, we increase our body’s ability to absorb oxygen which lowers cortisol levels and improves the autonomic nervous system, supporting a stronger immune system.
Breathing helps our digestive system by increasing blood flow to our digestive organs, increasing our metabolism and stabilizing blood sugar levels.