The Challenge: Do Some Breathing Exercises

Why?

Breathing exercises have been empirically shown to significantly enhance mental health by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving overall well-being. Research supports the idea that controlled breathing techniques, such as mindfulness-based breathing, have a positive impact on mental health. Deep-breathing exercises activate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a decrease in the production of stress hormones and an increase in feelings of calmness. Additionally, intentional breath control can positively influence cognitive functions and emotional regulation. Incorporating breathing exercises can play a pivotal role in enhancing mental health outcomes.*

 

 

How?

Focusing on your breath is a form of meditation. Get in a comfortable position, whether that’s seated or lying down. Concentrate on your breathing and slow it down, taking deliberate, even-paced inhales and exhales. If you want more structure, breath in for five and out for five; experiment to find the count that’s comfortable for your body.**

Don’t miss our upcoming event on Tuesday, January 16 • 6:30pm: Chakra Workshop with Guided Meditation

Books On the Power of Breathing

*Brown, R. P., & Gerbarg, P. L. (2009). Yoga breathing, meditation, and longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1172(1), 54-62.

*Jerath, R., Edry, J. W., Barnes, V. A., & Jerath, V. (2015). Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: Neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that enhances parasympathetic activity. Journal of Medical Hypotheses, 84(2), 109-114.

**Bellefonds, C. D. (2022, November 7). Hit the reset button with our 30-Day mental wellness challenge. Well+Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/mental-wellness-challenge-2019/#:~:text=Focusing%20on%20your%20breath%20is,even%2Dpaced%20inhales%20and%20exhales.