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Breathe, Exhale, Repeat

 

Breathing heals on many levels: it detoxifies, strengthens the immune system, and releases toxins. In fact, around 70 percent of our toxins, including carbon dioxide, are released from our body through our breath. The benefits of breathing deeply help the systems in the body to process this more efficiently. Rebecca Dennis, breath coach and founder of Breathing Tree, explains ways deep breathing benefits our bodies: 

Increases energy – Oxygen is the most essential natural resource required by our cells. We can go without food for up to 40 days and without water for 3 days, yet we can die after just a few minutes of not breathing. From a purely physical point of view, breath equals life. 

Improves the respiratory system – One of the benefits of breathing deeply is that it helps release tension in the diaphragm and primary breathing muscles, relieving long-term respiratory issues such as asthma and breathlessness. 

Calms the nervous system – Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing us into a relaxed state. It functions in the opposite way to the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates activities associated with the fight-or-flight response. 

Releases muscle tension – When we are stressed or experiencing uncomfortable feelings such as anger or pain, our breath becomes shallow and our muscle tissues contract. Deep breathing helps to release this. 

Affects mental state – The quality of our breath helps to relax the mind and enhance the ability to learn, focus, concentrate and memorize. The brain requires a great deal of oxygen to function, and increased intake of oxygen helps us achieve clarity and feel grounded and productive. It also relieves stress, anxiety, depression and negative thought patterns. The benefits of breathing properly can help us overcome addictive patterns of behavior and eating disorders, as well as igniting creativity and passion.

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