Let’s face it, our desires to help ourselves usually end once we figure out that self-improvement can get a little inconvenient. New behaviors don’t fit in our schedules, and lifestyle habits become challenging to maintain.
Of course, life doesn’t really care whether things are inconvenient, and the challenges of daily life typically occur regardless of whether we’ve decided to make a change or not. So, it always pays to try and make those positive changes.
One of the best pieces of advice anyone can give you is to make minor improvements every day. Change isn’t about huge displays of devotion to a new lifestyle but about making incremental changes to your routines and habits.
With that in mind, we believe taking the time to settle into a breathing exercise every day can be hugely beneficial and is something that can fit into just about any part of the day.
So, today’s blog is all about showcasing the simple, effective breathing exercise that we believe can make a difference and that you can practice anywhere and anytime.
First off, before we start getting down to the nitty-gritty of deep breathing techniques, let’s explain some of the rationales behind breathing exercises.
Breathing happens due to the autonomic nervous system, which works unconsciously to regulate our breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and various other automatic bodily processes. However, often, these automatic functions can be affected by habitual behavior.
Breathing is the most affected as we become more dependent on shorter, less efficient breaths as a result of constant stresses from daily life. Breathing exercises aim to correct this, allowing the body to return to a more natural, serene state as a result.
Breathing for The Everyday
The following are a few breathing exercises we love that can help train your body to breathe more profoundly and more efficiently. Even better, every one of these exercises is easy to practice and can comfortably be done anywhere, anytime!
Belly breathing is all about engaging your lower abdomen and allowing your lungs to fill to their total capacity. This technique is ideal for calming down and can be completed before bed for a supremely restful sleep.
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Place your hand on your abdomen.
- Inhale and notice your hand moving and belly expanding with your breath.
- Exhale slowly and notice your hand moving back inward with the exhale.
- Continue this breathing pattern as long as is needed to achieve calm.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing is a breathing technique used in yoga that’s designed to energize and relax the body. This technique is fantastic for those who want the benefits of yoga without engaging in the more spiritual aspects of yogic practices.
- Sit comfortably before relaxing, closing your eyes, and unclenching your jaw.
- Place your left hand on your left knee, and lift your right hand toward your nose.
- Exhale completely, and use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
- Inhale through the left nostril, then close the left nostril with your fingers.
- Open the right nostril, and exhale through this side.
- Inhale through the right nostril, then close it.
- Open the left nostril, and exhale through that side.
For more information regarding how to manage your breathing for a more effective lifestyle, visit our other blogs here at The Exhale to get the latest tips and tricks. For free guided breathing exercises that you can take anywhere, try out the Breathwrk app here.
And remember: Breathe Better, Live Better.