You can go weeks without food, days without water, but only a few minutes without your breath. Breathing is our first, most important part of keeping ourselves alive and well. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a wholesome and enjoyable experience. Conscious breathing exercises are the first step in accomplishing that.
Conscious breathing exercises are when you deeply inhale and exhale repeatedly for up to 90 minutes. These exercises have been shown to help address anxiety, addiction, stress, and a myriad of health issues, which many people are realizing. In the United Kingdom, there are a growing number of conscious breathing, so much so that The Guardian even recently wrote an article about them.
Interest in wellness and breathing influencers such as Wim Hof, who I’ve talked about in previous posts, have soared. This includes Richie Bostock, who is also known as “The Breath Guy”. Richie has been able to help those suffering with insomnia, allowing them to sleep for six hours following just one of his breathing sessions.
“It’s becoming a really big thing because it’s so simple. You can feel so good just from breathing. It’s almost too good to be true,” he admits. “But I haven’t met one person who has come out of a class and said they don’t get it. I have so many clients who feel ready to taper themselves off anti-anxiety medications in a matter of weeks.”
While what he’s saying truly does seem too good to be true, there’s scientific evidence to it. Dr. Emma Seppälä, a psychologist at both Yale and Stanford, says that studies have shown that breathing exercises can decrease anxiety and trauma while increasing well-being.
“Research shows that emotions and breathing are tightly linked, each emotion has a specific pattern of breathing that goes with it,” she explains. “By changing your breathing, you can trigger the ‘rest and digest’ parasympathetic nervous system – the opposite of the ‘fight or flight’ response. Your body calms down. As a consequence, you relax and feel better.”
It’s incredible to see that wellness has become such a popular and discussed topic. There is nothing more important than ensuring that you are happy and healthy in all aspects. Thankfully, just breathing and being with your breath is a simple first step in getting there.