I have been using deep breathing meditation for years. In the past to help me build self-confidence and now for health and spiritual reasons.
When I started using meditation I found it difficult to stop my mind from all the chatter and over the years I have tried different forms of meditation. It was only when I put them together and carried out deep breathing while meditating I found it easier to focus. The act of deep breathing helped to still my thoughts.
There are physiological (your body/health), psychological (your mind) and spiritual (your soul) benefits to using deep breathing meditation and I want to explain the benefits of both separately.
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Meditation is great for personal growth. It really helped me quiet my fears and doubts.
Helps me control my thoughts, mood and behaviour. When my negative inner chatter starts it used to make me feel bad. I used meditation to help me control the thoughts that go on in my head.
Helped with stress and anxiety. I use meditation to keep me calm and in the present moment. It is difficult to get anxious or stressed when that happens. If my anxiety was being caused by thinking about something in the past or something I thought might happen in the future, when I brought my thoughts back to the present there was only silence.
Scientific research has been carried out outlining the positive benefits that meditation has on stress so do your own due diligence and check it out for yourself.
In a nutshell what happens when we are stressed out is we take shorter breathes, these breathes are taken in your upper chest which reduces the amount of oxygen flowing into your body (never a good thing) – your balance of CO2 and oxygen is now unbalanced. As a result of this stress our muscles become tense.
I find breathing deeply helps me stretch and relax my diaphragm, which is the muscle affected most by stress. When my diaphragm relaxes it sends a message to my brain to let it know that everything is okay, which sends a signal to my whole body to release the tension.
You can reverse the feeling of stress using 5-7 deep belly breathing breaths.
Improves my problem solving skills. When I am looking to solve a problem and can’t find a solution because of the constant chatter in my head I find deep breathing meditation helps to relax my mind so I become open enough for solutions to present themselves.
Have you ever been desperately trying to think of something (like the name of the band who sang a hit song years ago) and you keep thinking about it but the name just won’t come to you. Then while doing something mundane like washing up or taking a shower the answer suddenly pops into your head. That happens because your attention is away from the question and you are relaxed, which opens an opportunity for the answer to come to you.
Helps with decision making. If I have different options to choose from when faced with a decision, rather than rush my decision I take the time to reflect on the different options during meditation. The more I meditate the stronger I find my decision making abilities become.
I have also found, compared to years ago, that I don’t regret my decisions as much either – even when they don’t go to plan. I simply focus on gratitude during my deep breathing mediation session.
Increases my ability to deal with the challenges life throws my way. This was one of the first benefits of meditation for me. I found that negative events or conversations that made me doubt myself didn’t have the same effect. By simply sitting and breathing I found it easier to take on whatever situation life threw at me and develop an inner strength that has helped me through some very challenging times.
I am more realistic and tend to keep things in perspective. Through meditation and learning to keep myself living in the moment I have become more realistic about my goals and what is possible for me to achieve.
If I don’t achieve something rather than feel bad and beat myself up, I find myself more inclined to look at what went wrong, learn from it and move on.
Life is just far more chilled out with deep breathing meditation.
Deep breathing meditation is free to do, no tools are needed and it can be started right away. This has to be one of my favourite reasons for taking part in deep breathing meditation. I am in full control. I decide how long I meditate for and when I do it.
I can be sat at a desk or on a train and I can stop and breath deeply.
As long as it is safe for you to do so why not stop and try it right now.
Take a deep breath in from your nose using your belly to inhale and breathe it out again then repeat as long as you want to do so.
Getting started can be that simple. When you are ready you can then focus your mind on connecting within and just stay there for as long as you possibly can.
I read recently that meditation has a really positive effect on our brain.
- ‘Grey’ (or gray) matter in the brain is important to help us hear, see, talk and looks after our memory.
- ‘White’ matter in the brain actively affects how the brain functions and learns.
This is just another reason to learn how to meditation in my book.
I also read that endorphins are released when we meditate. The same endorphins released after exercise are also associated with meditation too. With these two wonderful benefits it is no surprise that more and more people are taking to using meditation on a daily basis.
If you find you struggle with deep breathing meditation and keeping your mind quiet then you can do simple things like counting as you inhale and exhale or start with a pre-meditation tool.
A technique that I used, and one I call a pre-meditation tool, is the Brain Evolution System or BrainEv for short. This uses brain entrainment or sounds to help keep you focused. It is easier to be more passive because all you have to do is put your headphones on and listen. For anyone struggling with meditation who really wants to make use of it you will find this system will help you calm your mind and stay focused.
If you really do struggle with meditation get support by using the Brain Evolution System.
We all know the importance of looking after our ‘grey’ matter and our memory. The sooner you start the better your results will be.
It is really important when you use deep breathing meditation that you really use your diaphragm.
Why is that important? Well breathing from your diaphragm or using your abdominal muscles will help you
- relax your muscles and get proper oxygen to your whole body
- lower your heart rate and blood pressure
- breathe deeper and slower, which also promotes relaxation.
- get proper oxygen to your whole body
- improve the quality of your breathing and the flow of oxygen to your body’s tissues which helps to remove stress.
Deep breathing plays an important part in meditation as you learn how to let go quicker with each deep breathe. When inhaling it is important you only use your nose and never your mouth. While exhaling through your mouth or nose is okay.
Below is a video that is really helpful at teaching how to get those deep belly breathing breaths to improve the quality of our breathing.
3 important benefits that breathing deeply has on your health
There are far more than three benefits of engaging in deep breathing techniques but I believe these three are particular important, which is why I am sharing them with you:
Increases the amount of oxygen to your brain. Our brain needs oxygen for growth, healing and brain function. The best way to get oxygen into our blood so that it can be carried to our brain is through deep belly breathing using our nose. Another great way is to take a short walk while breathing deeply.
Read this for more information : My brain needs oxygen
You can help to improve your memory. According to Becomingsmarter.com, your brain uses approximately 20 percent of the oxygen in your body, despite the fact that it only occupies 2% of your body’s mass. So, while it may be small but it needs a lot of feeding!
Check out the different research on the benefits of improving the amount of oxygen that flows to your brain and you will find it highlights things like improving your memory and concentration. It will also highlight more serious research on reducing the risks of illnesses like dementia.
Doing an activity as simple as taking deep breaths will help you relax and increase the amount of oxygen in your body.
Slows down the aging process. I am always getting complimented on looking younger than my 47 years and my reply to that compliment is always the same “thank you, it’s the deep breathing meditation!”
Research has proven the positive connection between meditation and the effects on slowing down the aging process. Years ago I bought an audio program by the Bare Foot Doctor and he goes through Taoism drop meditation. Included in this program is information on the fact that it can help you become beautiful. Not by modifying your looks of course but through the process of meditation you begin to give off this powerful energy. Energy that is beautiful to those who connect with you even though they have no idea what it is they find attractive. You glow from the inside out.
3. Improves sleep. When I perform deep breathing meditation on on a regular basis not only am I less stressed out (as mentioned above) but I also find I sleep better. As a result I feel happier. When my mind was full of worry and stress I found it difficult to switch off and sleep. This doesn’t affect me like it used to as I have been meditating for years now.
If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions about deep breathing meditation you can leave them below.