“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.” Andrew Weil
We take our breathing for granted – it’s normally completely automatic – and we rarely appreciate just how we breathe affects both our physical wellbeing and mental functioning.
The link between breathing and health has a long history in both the Eastern mystical traditions and Western medicine. The root of the Sanskrit word for breath (Prana) relates to the vital energy, and in ancient yogic texts prana represents the mind and body link.
In the West poor breathing patterns have been linked to chronic health problems, including heart disease. Breath therapy is used in the treatment of medical conditions such as chronic pain, migraine, high blood pressure, asthma and anxiety.
Learning to control your breathing (consciously at first until it becomes habitual), can have immediate and wide ranging benefits. Some of them are:
- Stress reduction
- More focused thinking, better concentration
- Improved energy and vitality
- Improved mental wellbeing
- Better sleep
- Lifting of mood
- Reduction in anxiety
- Lowering of blood pressure.
- Improved immune system functioning
- Reduction in fatigue.
Since breathing is central to life, and all our body systems rely on being able to breath properly, this is a partial list.
Breathing correctly is not only important for living longer but also to have a good mood and keep performing at your best.