March 29, 2020
How to Use Deep Breathing to Relieve Stress, Prevent Injury, and More

You might be wondering, why do I need to practice breathing? I don’t have time to just sit and breathe!

I used to believe I had no time to sit and breathe, either. But, I’ve found since then that when I don’t think I have the time is when I need it the most.

Those of us who want to grow and achieve need to be able to think consciously. Deep Breathing makes that possible. Slowing down enough to breathe deeply is necessary for us to perform at our highest level.

Let me explain.

 

How Deep Breathing Allows for Greater Growth and Change

 First of all, deep breathing changes the state of your mind and body.

Have you ever been frustrated or tired and then let out a heavy “sigh”? That sigh is actually a signal to your brain to relax. To stop for a minute. To simmer down and let go of the need to fight or flee. It’s your body’s way of dealing with stress. And it works!

Breathing deeply changes our body’s state from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest”. Without resting and digesting, we cannot fully recover from workouts, our body can’t digest properly, we can’t think clearly, and we’re more prone to injury.

Think of a time when you’ve been stressfully moving from one task to the next. You wake up late, dress as fast as you can, then you have to get gas, drop the kids off, and drive to work all in mere minutes. During that time, you are so focused on surviving each task that your brain is on autopilot. In this state, you simply cannot think consciously! 

This is why coaches and therapists have their clients take a few deep breaths before starting a session. We can’t build new habits or make conscious decisions without getting into a clear state of mind.

So, if you’re someone who wants to create change in your life, improve your health, or take your fitness to the next level, deep breathing is vital.

 

How else is deep breathing beneficial?

There are several kinds of deep breathing methods, all with their own benefits. With my clients, I focus mainly on these two: 

  1. Deep breathing for specific muscle relaxation and overall stress relief
  2. Deep Breathing to increase vitality and improve exercise form

At Beometry, you’ll often hear our coaches guiding clients to inhale and exhale at certain parts of each movement. We do this because we understand how much breathing impacts performance and even our risk of injury. The way we breathe has a direct impact on how we function physically and mentally.

Breathing correctly can:

– Prevent injury

– Lessen chronic pain

– Decrease stress

– Improve body mechanics and motor control

– Improve your state of mind

– Increase productivity, energy, and creativity

 – Decrease inflammation and promote physical healing

– Improve digestion and metabolism

– Increase weight loss 

– And more… 

 

How Can You Incorporate Deep Breathing Into Your Routine?

Deep breathing doesn’t always have to be something you sit down and spend 20 minutes doing. You don’t even have to close your eyes. For me, deep breathing is something I do in a minute or two, right before I run, lift, talk with a client, or start a new task.

I take a moment to breath deeply for all these things:

  • To improve the efficiency of my running.
  • To prevent injury while heavy lifting.
  • To relax, and get out of my head and into my body.
  • To improve my digestion and circulation, and decrease inflammation.
  • To ignite my creativity and get into a flow state for work.

It’s become one of the most important things in my life. Without it, I notice my state of mind, well being, energy, and care for others diminish. When I started deep breathing, I was able to give more and contribute more, because I wasn’t so stressed and drained. This is why I’ve become passionate about sharing it with others.

 

How can you start deep breathing for your own benefit?

Here’s a quick easy exercise you can do any time to relax:

  1. Sit or lie on your back.
  2. Take your hands and place them on your abdomen.
  3. Now, take a deep breath in. The key is to feel the air fill your belly, not your chest.
  4. Hold your breath for 1 to 2 seconds. Then, take a long slow exhale.
  5. Breath out like you were fogging up a window. Relax your jaw.
  6. Feel your shoulders, arms, neck and back relax as you exhale.
  7. Repeat as many times as you like. That’s it!

What else can I do?

 At Beometry, we understand that health is more than just fitness and nutrition. It’s about your state of mind, your joy, and your ability to manage stress. 

Managing stress is a practice. It takes time to learn. It also sometimes takes more work than just sitting down to breathe. Sometimes we need to learn how to change our thinking patterns in order to fully let go of what’s weighing us down.

If you would like support with that, click here to join our Facebook Group: Total Body Confidence. In this group, you’ll learn how to take care of your body so you can function your very best for the rest of your life!

Keep Growing,

Coach Michelle

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