Benefits of deep breathing

It’s the new year.  For some that means a sigh of relief after the busy holiday season, for others clenched muscles and stress at the thought of taxes coming due or the pressure of New Year’s resolutions to make and another year that has flown by.

Take a deep breath.

No, really.  Take a deep breath.

The benefits of deep breathing are familiar to yoga practitioners, but in case you’re new to the technique, here are some of the benefits of deep breathing (sources below).

1. Slows heart rate and encourages muscle relaxation

2. Lowers blood pressure

3. Aids digestion

4. Massages your organs

5. Increases blood flow (which can even help prevent wrinkles)

6.  Improves the quality of blood by removing carbon dioxide and increasing oxygen levels

7. Improves concentration

8. Releases endorphins, the “feel good chemicals”)

9. Encourages good lymphatic function which helps detoxify your body

10. Elevates mood

Sources: American Medical Student Association, NPRLiving the Nourished Life, One Powerful Word, Care2

If you are looking for some tips on getting started, here are some techniques and tutorials:

Breathing techniques from the American Institute of Stress

Video tutorial on practicing deep breathing

Guided breathing exercise from RELAX

Take a deep breath.  Happy New Year!

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