Capetown Student Accomodation

How Deep Breathing Helps with Stress and Sleep

You’ve likely read a lot of how-to articles while you’re learning new skills or simply trying to unblock a drain. What you’ve probably never looked up are tips on how to breathe. 

Honestly, we’ve been doing it our whole lives and it’s as natural as it comes. So, what’s the deal?

The benefits of deep breathing

Here’s the thing; because we’re not as active as we could be there is a very good chance that we’re not benefiting from the boost of oxygen to our bodies when we fill our lungs up with life-giving air. 

It really is as simple as that, but let’s dig a little deeper and uncover some of the nuts and bolts of this theory.

Deep breathing has the uncanny ability to assist in combatting stress, anxiety, and high blood pressure. It can even help with digestion, who knew?

  • Deep breathing sends messages to your brain to calm down when you’re feeling wired while at the same time increasing our endorphins.
  • This practice also stimulates the lymphatic systems which helps to detox the body. In fact, over 70% of toxins are released through breathing, so the more and deeper we breathe, the better for us.
  • Deeper breathing equals more oxygen in our blood which assists the body in working at its peak. Oxygenated blood is more efficient in carrying nutrients around the body making us healthier, happier versions of ourselves. 
  • Relaxed muscles from deep breathing allow our blood vessels to dilate which helps to improve circulation and lower blood pressure. 

These are just a few of the multiple benefits of practising deep breathing.

However, like meditation and even other forms of physical training, deep breathing needs to be learned. 

Take a look at a few different breathing exercises and see which one you prefer. One source says, “Breathe in calmly, through the nose, filling your abdomen and chest, for 5 seconds (or longer, not exceeding 7 seconds). Hold this breath in for 3 seconds. Slowly and gently release the breath through the mouth for 5 seconds (or more, whatever is comfortable.)  breathe out through a slightly parted lip or “O” shaped lips. Repeat this 5 times, or even better, continue for 5 minutes.”

Indeed, deep breathing is a wonderful way to relax your body and mind and will certainly benefit you as you go through your day.