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13 Health Benefits of Deep Breathing

 

Diana Herrington, now healthy, enjoying the fresh air on a beach in Turkey.

My Story – How Breathing Changed My Life Forever

One week in the 70′s I found myself in a very stressful situation that caused so much stomach pain I was forced to walk around bent over. I could not stand upright due to the pain and was not breathing deeply but did not realize it. It became so bad I was hospitalized and given Demerol which took away the pain and of course made me feel high. Especially since I was in the midst of 70’s culture–I tolerated the pain-squelching high. But, even back then, I was all about being natural so I did not want to put chemicals into my body.

I left the hospital with those same little yellow pills I had taken in my teens. I knew I had to do something because I did not want to be taking those pills in order to live–but what?

Relaxing seemed like a step in the right direction, so I enrolled in a yoga class a friend was teaching. This is when I learned how to breathe. Every morning, I would do yoga, and every day I would practice breathing into my belly while lying on my bed. It was important to completely focus on this activity since I wasn’t accustomed to breathing this way. Whenever I noticed the stomach pain returning I would lie down and practice breathing. Later I would practice belly breathing whenever I was sitting around, when quietly walking and any time I remembered during the day. Naturally, I found myself breathing into my belly consistently. It’s not a noticeable deep breathing. I just naturally breathing into my whole body gently.

Most of us do not learn to breathe properly; we unconsciously live off of shallow breathing. Knowing how to breathe and relax is a skill that has served me well for many years, and I urge everyone to learn it.

How to Breathe Your Way to Optimum Health

1. Laugh More.

Laughter really is the best medicine’ for health.
When we laugh, the amount of air we take in increases and the muscles in our chest loosen. Most of us have laughed so hard that we gasp for air and say “please stop making me laugh!” Find a laughter group and club or yoga that is based on laughter.

2. Improve Your Air Quality.

Breathing more doesn’t do you any good if the air is toxic. Here are Quick Tip to Improve Air Quality.

3. Practice learning how to breathe

Most people I have worked with do not know how to breathe into their belly. There are all sorts of complicated lessons on breathing but really, it does not have to be that difficult.  After all, babies do this naturally; it isn’t rocket science. What we want to do is get back to breathing the way we did as babies.

a.  Diana’s Method: Here is my own method for learning how to breath more with your belly.

b.  3 Powerful Yogi/chi-gong Breathing Exercises for improved health.

Related
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6 Myths About Stress (Slideshow)
3 Breathing Techniques for Relaxation

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

76 comments

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7:13PM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

I adore deep breathing !!!!! :-)

3:59AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

Thank you :)

4:18PM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

Thank you :)

11:29PM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

Thanks for the reminder.

12:40AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

thank u

9:34AM PDT on May 30, 2013

Deep breathing is extremely beneficial if you do it correctly. I do a series of exercises/stretching/deep breathing every morning. Only takes a few minutes. In my Tai Chi class, we do deep breathing exercises where you learn to push the air into your diaphraghm and hold it before exhaling. When my macho brother, who works out daily and was in great shape, tried to do my deep breathing morning exercises, he almost fainted. This goes to show you - most people are in the habit of shallow breathing and not used to deep breathing!

8:49AM PDT on May 29, 2013

Eh- eh, eh-eh... :-)

6:20AM PDT on May 28, 2013

Good information, thanks.

2:33AM PDT on May 27, 2013

thanks

2:59PM PDT on May 26, 2013

thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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