BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|
Breathing “is the process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through the mouth or nose due to muscle contraction and then exhaled due to muscle relaxation  ”. Breathing is synonymous of life, in fact, if we do not breathe, “the oxygen that flows to the brain can decrease, causing fainting, seizures and brain damage  ”. Do you know what breathing properly brings to our physical and mental health?
According to Harvard Medical School  , “breath focus is a common feature of several techniques that evoke the relaxation response. The first step is learning to breathe deeply”, this will help us for example with lower blood pressure, improve quality of life in people with asthma and COPD, help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce tension to help with headaches, relieve some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and reduce the number and severity of hot flashes  .
How to practice deep breathing? Before you get started, keep these four tips in mind  :
- Choose a place to do your breathing exercise. It could be in your bed, or any place that you feel comfortable.
- Do not force it. This can make you feel more stressed.
- Try to do it at the same time once or twice a day.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Therefore, it is recommended to do it in the morning when you wake up and at night, in your pajamas.
How deep breathing can be helpful for mental health? According to the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association,  “deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body”. That is why this exercise constitutes a fundamental support for our mental health when is done properly. That is why they recommend these six steps to do an excellent breathing exercise, which will help us reduce stress and improve our emotional wellbeing:
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position
- Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
- Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
- Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
- Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.
We all can breathe, that is why we encourage you to be more aware of how you do it to help oxygenate your body and release tension from your body and mind.