Every plant and animal needs oxygen to survive. It’s basic science.
More advanced science tells us that there are real health benefits to pausing for some deep breaths. Taking a deep breath lowers your blood pressure, slows your heart rate, and transfers oxygen to your brain, helping you think more clearly.
So how exactly does it work? When you inflate your lungs deeply and slowly, you’re actually consuming less oxygen for a moment. This decrease starts a domino effect that decreases your heart rate and blood pressure. It also increases the brain waves associated with the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest and digest” nervous system.
Your body’s response to deep breathing helps you feel relaxed and at ease. It can undo the stressful feelings created by your sympathetic nervous system when you were feeling hurried, worried, or frustrated earlier in the day.
If you have any respiratory issues like COPD or asthma, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before you try diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing is usually recommended for people with respiratory issues, but it’s best to check in to be sure.