Deep breathing techniqes for well being

by Dandy

There are so many benefits to deep breathing.  It can help with physical pain, sleep disorders, anxiety, asthma, depression, etc,.   Just because we know how to breathe doesn’t mean we are taking advantage of all the great things that can come from it.  Most of us breath in a very shallow and aimless manner, with stataco jerks.  We are so used to this that it takes mindfulness to alter the breath.  But it is easier than you may think to develop an unconscious habit of mindful deep breathing.  Once we gain attention to our breathing and make an effort to stretch and lengthen our breath, we easily start breathing deeply.  However, as soon as our minds start to wander in some other direction we return to the shallow breathing.  But there is a remedy.

The first method is known as the Pause Breath method.  This is a simple, but powerful technique.  All you need to do is concentrate on the two pauses that occur while breathing, the inhalation and the exhalation.  Just by doing this you will start taking continuous deep breaths.  When you inhale deeply, you will need to exhale deeply.  Try this now.  You can do this technique anywhere and everywhere.  Just observe your breath.  So it for 5 minutes.  Start focusing on these breathing pauses twice a day for 15 minutes each.  Try to do the session of pause breath in a quiet, peaceful place at first.  As you do this, you will find that even when you stop focusing your attention on the pauses, you will still be breathing deeper.

The second method is called the Pavlov method.  We use “conditioned reflexes” for this method. There is a long list of things we do everyday without fail, like driving, getting dressed, reading the newspaper, internet surfing, etc,.  we will use these activities as external stimuli to train our nervous systems (minds) to automate the process of deep breathing.

Let us take walking as an example.  We walk to the bus stop, or the bosses office, or down the supermarket aisles.  We do all of this with purpose.  So all you need to do is choose one of these daily walks.  Just one.  Now when you walk for that purpose give attention to your breath.  Be aware of the pauses.  Try to breath deeply.  For this one walking purpose always breath deeply.  For all other occasions of walking, forget about it and take in breath the way you normally do. 

So suppose you choose to do this every morning you walk out to your car.  Always do this deep breathing.  After you are in your car you can breathe normally again.  You are not required to do deep breathing all day long.  Just to the car.  You will be unconsciously training your mind to start associating the process of deep breathing while walking to the car.  The simultaneous process of walking to the car and deep breathing will become automatic.  You’ll see that when you forget to breath deeply while walking to the car, your mind will remind you and your body will respond.  A “conditioned reflex” will be created!  You can apply this to other daily activities you do, like taking a shower, or washing the dishes, or checking your email.

If you do this several times a day during your daily activities, you can be deep breathing for 3 or 4 hours daily.  Just imagine all that pure oxygen running through your brain and body!

Do you practise deep breathing?  How has it benefited you?

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22 Comments to “Deep breathing techniqes for well being”

  1. Love it, Love it, Love it. When it comes to something as simple as breathing, this technique alone if controlled , can create our meditations better than ever. With the silence of our minds, we can seek answers to question we never thought existed.

    • Jonathan!
      I’m glad you liked this post. When you told me you meditate, I was thinking of you when I wrote this. It’s true that with deep breathing we can make discoveries we wouldn’t have otherwise. It opens up the soul! Thanks Jonathan. I appreciate all your support!

  2. Hi Dandy,

    It’s always good to read a post from you! 🙂

    What you say about breathing is indeed true. Many of us do not breathe properly at all. Neither are we consciously aware of this fact. The good point about this article you have written is that it helps us to be more mindful of this state of affairs.

    The Pause Breath method is a valuable practice. And once beginners know how to do it, they can slowly work their way up from 5 minutes to longer periods of time.

    Hahaha, when I read the Pavlov method, the first thing that came to my mind was a dog. Jokes aside, using conditioned reflex is a great way to instil the habit of deep breathing. I like it because it is easy to do anywhere as we go about our daily routines.

    Personally, my breathing is shallow. When I do deep breathing, I find that my brain is not use to such large amounts of oxygen. But this article is a good reminder for me to get down to breathing and filling my brain and body with pure oxygen.

    Thank you for sharing this timely article! 🙂

    Irving aka the Vizier

    • Hi Irving,
      Yes, I’m a shallow breather too. Once I started doing yoga I realized I never take deep breaths, but I had a hard time remembering to breath deeply when I wasn’t doing yoga. When I found these two methods I was able to incorporate deep breathing into my life & I believe it has helped me control anxiety. Also it helps with pain. I periodically get migranes & I know it helps with pain control. Give this a try, you may be surprized how easy it is to do! Thanks for your wonderful support Irving!!

  3. Hi Dandy,

    Very nice post! We all need to learn to breathe better. When I used to take singing lessions, abdominal breathing was crucial. All actors, singers, speakers and people in general should work on their breathing skills. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. i had tried deep breathing in the past, but was unsuccessful to keep it going. i still devote some time towards deep breathing everyday but can’t do it unconsciously. will try out the 2nd method, i like the idea of conditioned reflex. let me see if i can train my body and mind to breadth deeply in a particular daily work.

    • Hi there,
      Thanks so much for you great comments. I also struggled with deep breathing until I found these methods. They are definatley worth a try! I believe it has helped me control my emotions by slowing myself down and getting a handle on anxiety. Let me know how you do!

      Dandy

  5. This is great Dandy. We all have a habit of taking breathing for granite. thank you for the reminder. What is really cool is while I was reading your article I was breathing deeper. Guess I better print the article out and paste it right by my computer so I remember to get in a habit of doing this. I certainly can use more energy.

    Thanks again and you have brightened my day, I hope yours is also bright.
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie!
      It’s always wonderful hearing from you. Yes, please give this a try! It really helps in getting you centered & aligned. There are many benefits to deep breathing! Let me know how you do! Thank you Debbie!

  6. Hi Dandy,

    I really love these approaches. I’ve use two methods ~ belly breathing and alternate nostril breathing. I’ve been wondering how to incorporate the mindfulness of breathing into walking and you’ve covered that beautifully here. Thanks so much!

  7. Hi Dandy:

    What an awesome post. the topic is amazing and you have described it wonderfully.

    So many techniques to breath. It is a cure for many people. without noticing many of simply breather very shallow and deep breathing is very important to get Oxygen to all parts of the body. I do deep breathing when I doing my slow stretching exercise. It is equally important for the fast paced exercise too. A very good read dandy

    fran A

  8. Hi, Just found your blog through your comment on the Vizier’s blog. This is amazing timing. Just three days ago, someone gave me a copy of a presentation by Robin Rose on resilience. Her whole presentation was about belly-breathing and how it affects our brains and our moods.

    I am a very shallow breather, but I have made a commitment to change my breathing habits. I now take 10 deep breaths when I wake up and before I go to sleep. And I try to remember to take a few deep breaths on the hour. I don’t always notice the time, but the hour is an easy reminder. Also, I have my phone set to vibrate at 10, 2, and 6 (I say a brief prayer at those times), so it’s easy to remember to take a few deep breaths then.

    Now I have even more ideas, thanks to you! So glad I found your blog. I look forward to reading more.

    • Hi Galen,
      Thank you so much for checking out my blog & writing such a lovely comment. I’m glad you found it helpful. I love the idea of setting the phone to vibrate. That’s brilliant. I’m going to give that a try! Thanks so much Galen. I can’t wait to veiw your blog! Take care!

      Dandy

  9. PS–I linked to your deep breathing post in my recent post on belly breathing. Thought I would let you know.

  10. Thanks for this tips. They will sure improve my mindfulness practice!

  11. The techniques are great, they might help me to improve my swimming. Thank you.

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