Breathe in, breathe out. We all do it, everyday, all day. But, how efficiently are you breathing? Could you breathe stronger, for longer? Many people don’t realize the benefits of deeper, stronger breaths. Your respiratory muscles can even be trained to breathe deeper than you ever have before. When you are most anxious, a deep breath can make all the difference in whether you face the challenge, or shy away.
Benefits of Deep Breaths
When we are scared or anxious, we take rapid shallow breaths, breathing with our chest and shoulders, cutting short the oxygen supply. Purposely breathing deep forces us to breath with our diaphragm and slows our breathing relaxing our muscles and releasing tension.
Increases Energy and Oxygen
Breathing deeper means you are inhaling more oxygen rich air and exhaling the carbon dioxide from your lungs more completely. Ultimately this means your blood is more oxygenated which is vital to healthy organs and cells.
Lower Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
By inhaling more oxygen, you supply your blood cells with more oxygen. Your heart works to make sure your body is supplied with oxygen rich blood. Since you have higher oxygen levels in your blood, your heart has less work to do. Your heart can relax and not pump blood as quickly because your blood has more oxygen to supply your organs.
Increases Feelings of Calm
Deep breaths trigger your brain to release chemicals that calm your brain. Taking a deep breath, you are telling your brain you don’t need to be on alert. Subsequently, this lowers the levels of stress hormones in your blood.
Healthier Nervous System
With higher oxygen levels in your blood, you spinal cord and other nerves are supplied with more oxygen allowing them to work more efficiently. More efficient nerves mean healthier communication in your body and a healthier you.
Take a Breath
So before your next step, when you feel anxious to take on the day, field, performance, or race:
Breathe. You’re going to be okay. Breathe and remember that you’ve been in this place before. You’ve been this uncomfortable and anxious and scared and you’ve survived. Breathe and know that you can survive this too. These feelings can’t break you. They’re painful and debilitating, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon, they are going to fade and when they do, you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience. I know it feels unbearable right now, but keep breathing, again and again. This will pass. I promise it will pass.
Know that with PowerLung you can take deeper breaths, breathe easier and stronger, and take on any challenge. All you have to do is breathe.