Can breathing techniques improve your mental health? An expert opines

Breathing in the right way doesn’t only keep us alive, but it positively affects your mental health as well. So, psychologist Garima Juneja shares her views on how the right breathing techniques can improve mental health.
Breathing Techniques for Healthy Body and Mind Can breathing techniques improve your mental health? An expert opines
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Breathing is an elixir for physical as well as mental health, seamlessly connecting the body to the soul. It is nothing less than a miracle as its existence blossoms and nurtures life and its absence breeds lifelessness. But not only that, breathing has an intense impact on our mental health as well. And during this pandemic, mental peace is one of our prime priorities to stay sane and calm. So, Garima Juneja, Psychologist, founder of Lightroom Therapy and Counseling, talks about how breathing techniques can improve our mental health.

You can invariably find yourself breathing shallower in the moment of stress than otherwise, meaning that breathing is not as natural as we assume it to be. Its intensity varies. It consequently becomes a vicious circle with stress leading to shallow breathing, which gives us anxiety thus making us breathless. But on the contrary, if you calm your mind and start focusing on breathing, you will take steps towards inner peace.

Breathing is an absolute antidote to anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, and chaos. So, let’s have a look at breathing closely, it’s the need of the hour when we all have never thought that oxygen can be in huge demand.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, also called "abdominal breathing" or "belly breathing", encourages full oxygen exchange. It is the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. This type of breathing slows the heartbeat and can lower or stabilize blood pressure. The way is to either lie down or sit and place one hand on your chest and another on your stomach, your stomach should come out while you inhale and go in while you exhale.

Go back to inner calmness

After 3-4 hours or as the need arises, turn on the timer on your phone for 10 minutes and then count your breath. One breath constitutes inhale and exhale both. If the count of your breath is more than 23-25 then you are a shallow breather. Learn to breathe deeply as mentioned in the first point and stop for some time after each inhale and exhale.

Imagine a waterfall or flower

Close your eyes and make use of your imagination. A waterfall or a flower or garden or the face of your loved one can bring you back to deep breathing. Stay there for some time.

Pranayam/breathing techniques or workout

Start your day with breathing deeply or pranayam or a heart-pumping workout. It will enthuse you with a lot of energy and happiness. That’s the right way to kick start your day.

Breathing right is the natural act of making everything fall in its place. Bring yourself back to inner calm by paying attention to your breathing because happiness breathes when you do.
 

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