Want to learn more about how I practice deep breathing?
Watch this video!
Here are three often-overlooked benefits of deep breathing that you will experience immediately:
- Deeper connection with nature
When we breathe with intention, it’s hard not to appreciate the air we take in. A deep breath can help connect us to the environment by drawing our attention to the world that produces what we desperately need – clean air and oxygen.
I’m sure many of you are like me in that when you go for a hike, you can’t help but pause, take in the views, and pull in a big lung-full of air to commemorate the moment. It’s natural for us to breathe deeply when we are enjoying nature.
Next time you are walking outside in the garden or through your neighbourhood, take a few deep breaths and think about the air you are breathing. I guarantee you will feel more connected to Mother Earth!
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself and the Earth.” adapted from Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. Deeper connection with ourselves
As strange as it sounds, deep breaths help us reconnect with ourselves. When we take in air slowly through our noises and release it in a controlled manner, we engage our holistic selves.
We feel the air rush in and expand our lungs. We feel our bellies grow, and our upper chests release tension. We also feel the fog clear from our minds and the return of our emotional strength.
Meditation practices, like qigong, are particularly effective at forcing us to recenter ourselves. Exercises of this nature require focus, intention, and commitment because they engage our entire being. Take a deep breath and experience restoration in mind, body, and spirit.
“Trust and value your own divinity as well as your connection to nature and others.” adapted from Wayne Dyer
3. Deeper connection with others
There are only a few things that every human in this life needs to survive. Food, water, and oxygen are three of those things.
No matter how different people’s daily lives look around the world, the fact of the matter is that we share breathing in common. In the same way that a good meal can bring different cultures and people groups together, so, too, can a deep breath. Breathing has unifying power when we realize that it’s one of the few requirements we all have in this life.
Right now, the coronavirus is stripping many people of the ability to breathe without intense painful, disruption. For those of you who are healthy right now, appreciate the gift that clear breathing truly is. Realize that so many people cannot enjoy this simple experience at this moment.
By doing so, you will undoubtedly feel more connected to the rest of humankind, which is so important at a time when so many people are isolated.
“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” Thich Nhat Hanh