We don’t think a lot about it, but we all do it daily and many times a day: breathing. Our breathing is fully automatic and on average we breathe 23,000 times a day and process approximately 10,000 litres of oxygen. But what is breathing exactly and can you do more with it? In this blog you will learn surprising facts about breathing and how to use it for your advantage in daily life.

What is breathing? 

When you breathe, you transport oxygen to the cells of the body, while also cleaning the system from the carbon dioxide t. How can we perform this crucial and complex task without even thinking about it? This TedX video by Emma Bryce shows how our lungs keep us alive. 

Breathing and stress

There is a strong connection between breathing and stress. When we are relaxed, we breathe in the most natural way towards the abdomen. With abdominal breathing, the body is able to function optimally. As soon as stress comes into play, this has an immediate effect. We become short of breath. The breathing is high at the chest. The longer a chest breath lasts and the more it occurs the harder it is for the body to function optimally. 

Not breathing well for a longer period increases the risk of depression and anxiety. The World Health Organization indicates that by 2020, depression and anxiety will be the number one disease worldwide.

Max Strom, breath coach, explains how good breathing can contribute positively to physical and mental health. View his TedX talk here: 

Good posture 

A correct sitting posture is not only important to be able to do your work well, but also to breathe properly. Do you spend a lot of time at your desk? Then you can feel it in your neck, shoulders and (lower) back. Feeling discomfort in these areas causes you to change the way you are sitting. And as soon as that happens, your breathing also changes.

With a good sitting posture we automatically have (better) abdominal breathing, which contributes to the proper functioning of the body. If you do not have a correct sitting posture, your body will interpret that as experiencing stress, which will cause your breathing to immediately rise towards the chest. This video shows the benefits of a good posture:

When you have a good sitting posture, it is of course not the intention to stay stuck in that position for hours. Scientific research shows that taking a short break every 1 to 2 hours contributes to more productivity and a higher quality of your work. But more importantly: by producing endorphins during this break, you increase your happiness and you feel better and more comfortable in your skin. Treat yourself to a short healthy break with these exercises that you can easily do behind a desk:

Breathing techniques

There are many different breathing techniques, each with its own purpose. In this blog I share videos, each with a breathing technique explained step by step. You can easily try them all or choose one that appeals to you the most.

1. Anti-Flu

In the colder months of the year the flu lurks around the corner. Nobody wants to get sick. This breathing technique gives your immune system a boost and helps prevent the flu. Do you already have the flu? Also try this technique, because it will enhance your recovery: 

2. De-stress

When we experience stress our breathing changes. In this video you experience the difference between chest and abdomen breathing and immediately reduce the feeling of stress: 

3. Relaxation

Just do nothing at all and just be. When did you last experience that? This video helps you to clear your head completely and fully recharge: 

What exercise are you going to try? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: mind tips relax
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Esther writes blogs for NiceDay and shars practical and interesting yoga tips and tricks that will truly benefit you. Her goal is to help you use practical yoga for a healthier and happier life. In 2018 Esther was the first yoga teacher that introduced online yoga classes in Europe. You can follow her classes online from any place or on any time you like. Want to know more? Have a look at her live online yoga studio:

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