Let’s think about how tiring our days become when we suffer from a trivial cold: our minds are clouded, we struggle to concentrate, we feel our muscles are weighed down, and we feel a general sense of malaise. The reason for this general weakness and malaise lies not only in the illness itself, but in the fact that we cannot breathe well; the body and mind are affected. Although in a less obvious and perceptible way, we feel the same sense of weakness and disorientation when we breathe poorly. Breathing gymnastics is one way to restore proper balance.
Benefits for the mind as well
Proper breathing brings benefits not only to our physique but also on mental activities and psychological well-being. Here are some of the positive effects that can be achieved:
- increased mental clarity and concentration;
- a decrease in headache fatigue;
- a reduction in nervous tension and anxiety;
- a strong relaxation
- increased ability to cope with stress, pressure, anxiety and anger.
Breathing gymnastics is mainly based on regaining awareness and putting attention to breathing, an act normally done automatically and with little awareness. It is necessary to begin by being present in the moment of breathing, that is, focusing on the action of inhaling and exhaling, on the correct execution. In this way one can gradually acquire the habit of doing it in the best way. This can be done by taking advantage of some simple exercises that can be performed every day to re-educate our mind, muscles and attitude.
Small exercises: soap bubbles.
A useful yet fun exercise to improve expiratory capacity is to practice blowing soap bubbles. Use an ordinary baby tube and start blowing, blowing, blowing… You will soon find that to succeed in making numerous soap bubbles or to make very large ones you will first have to inhale deeply and then exhale long, steadily and continuously. Try to hold the circle with the soapy water farther and farther away from your mouth, so that you also have to use some force on the exhale to get the air to inflate the bubbles. The result will be a cascade of multicolored bubbles and a great exercise for your lungs and your ability to breathe fully.
The mirror exercise
Often the natural exhalation turns out to be short, fast and shallow. Here is a little game to help you learn how to better throw out air and increase your expiratory capacity. All that is needed is a small mirror, the kind you can hold in your hand. How to do it. Take the small mirror in one hand and bring it to the level of your mouth, but not too close to your lips. Then begin to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. When you throw out the air, try to mist the mirror. The first few times you perform this exercise, keep the mirror fairly close, but each day try to move it a little further away–it will be surprising for you to observe how much the duration and amplitude of your exhalation can increase.
Inflate a balloon
Inflating a balloon also allows for breathing exercise. Before you start to inflate it, stretch the balloon with your hands so you don’t have to force your breath too hard when you start to inflate it. Remember that it is not so much the force of the breath that matters but its duration and continuity.
These small exercises help us to become aware of our breath, to make order and cleanliness of everything that obstructs the flow of our breath, devoting time to it and keeping the systems involved in order and healthy. Attention, mindfulness and care are the most effective tools for regaining healthy and effective breathing. With these little extra cares we can regain the energy we often lack due to insufficient oxygenation.
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