We all breathe, but only a fraction of us actually take the time to consciously focus on our breath. It’s the simplest thing anyone can do to instantly break free from the turmoil of their mind and transform almost any experience into something more tolerable and peaceful.
All you have to do is breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth. The deeper and the more breaths you take, the better.
Remember this next time you feel yourself getting swept away by thought. Here are just a few everyday examples of experiences we all go through that breathing has the power to transform.
Balance Physical Reactions
Whether it’s something as mild as nervous fidgeting or something as serious as a full-blown panic attack, breathing helps balance these physical reactions in response to what your mind might be making you perceive as a threat to you.
Emotions are physically felt. Breathe into them to let yourself feel them rather than using your mind to distract yourself from them and suppress them.
Tune Into Your Senses
If you want to see more vibrantly, smell more aromatically, touch more deeply, taste more exquisitely, and hear more clearly, then work on your breathing. Everything within reach of your senses will become more intense.
Improve Physical Strength
Whether you strictly stick to yoga or incorporate other forms of activity into your exercise regimen like weight training or cardio, breathing deeply in unison with the movement of your body can help you feel stronger and perform better.
Respond to Negativity
Ever blurt something out to someone who just criticized or insulted you without even thinking? If you can remember to take a deep breath first before speaking, you’ll make better choices in how you choose to respond to negativity.
Focus on Challenging Tasks
Artists, scientists, businesspeople, and all sorts of other professionals can’t do their best work if they’re not 100% focused on what they need to do. If you have a job or hobby that requires deep focus and concentration, take a few deep breaths to clear out distracting thoughts.
Focus on Other People
When we want to impress someone, we get caught up in thoughts about ourselves, which prevents us from being able to place our full awareness on whoever we’re interacting with. Breathe as you gently shift your focus away from yourself to that other person.
Breathing is the fastest, healthiest, and most effective way to achieve total mind and body relaxation. Instead of turning to TV and other forms of mental stimulation, which don’t fully relax you, consider meditating on your breath in silence.
Connect With Nature
By connecting with our breath, we’re reminded that we’re connected to everything and everyone around us. Next time you’re outdoors, breathe deeply to clear your mind of thought and heighten your senses so that you can become more aware of that connection.
Fall Asleep Faster
A racing mind and a tense body can make falling sleep seem impossible. Both can be relieved by simply breathing. Try these three breathing techniques to help you fall asleep faster.
Curious about how exactly something as simple as breathing helps balance out the mind and body? Check out these five science-backed heath benefits of deep breathing.