Breathing happens automatically, but if you learn how to consciously regulate your breathing you will soon see why breathing correctly is so important. Breathing correctly can give us more energy and even reduce stress and anxiety.
We do it every day – 500 million times during our lives: breathing. But despite taking around 20,000 breaths a day, we give this vital process little consideration. Breathing correctly has a significant impact on our well-being and benefits our physical and mental health in various ways.
What exactly happens in our body when we breathe? Find out how breathing works and which metabolic processes this triggers.
Breathing air in through our lungs transports oxygen to our blood. When we breathe out, carbon dioxide, a metabolic waste product, is released into the air and leaves the body. The better we supply our cells with oxygen, the more effectively we can eliminate toxins from our body. The respiratory centre in our brain ensures that we have an adequate supply of oxygen in every situation: it regulates our breathing rate and respiratory volume and sees to it that we are breathing properly.
A healthy adult takes between 12 and 20 breaths a minute when at rest. However, a study has shown that 60 to 80% of people do not breathe correctly, i.e. they take shorter and shallower breaths. Shallow breathing involves fast and sharp intakes of breath.
The consequences? Shallow breathing shifts our nervous system to a state of alert, making us feel like we are in a constant state of fight or flight and under stress. Conversely, consciously taking deep breaths can have a calming effect on our vegetative nervous system, contributing positively to our emotional state.
We cannot live without the oxygen we breathe in. When we breathe, there’s a lot more that happens than just oxygen being taken into the blood. Read in the Ratgeber Breath what happens in your body when you breathe and how breathing correctly can help you in everyday situations and when exercising.
If someone is stressed, we often advise them simply to take a deep breath. Smart advice, given that breathing correctly can reduce stress and anxiety. But what does “breathing correctly” mean?
Breathing exercises help with stress and anxiety. Find out about the different breathing exercises in this blog article.
Want to find out how to breathe properly? The Helsana Coach app gives you helpful tips and shows you breathing exercises you can incorporate into your day-to-day life. Helsana Coach also provides fascinating background information and answers to key health-related questions.
The next time you feel stressed, the first thing you should do is pay more attention to your breathing – it makes a difference. Consciously taking just a few minutes a day to breathe properly can have a positive impact on the mind and body. Straighten your posture while doing so to allow your breath to flow into your stomach: this will quickly help you feel more relaxed and improve your mood!
Breathing exercises can relieve stress and tension. COMPLETA supplementary insurance covers 75% of the costs of recognised health promotion courses, up to a maximum of CHF 200 per year.
The expert provided the editorial team with advice and input for this article. Anja Roth (Master of Science in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy) works for Helsana’s health consultation team. She supports customers on questions to do with the musculoskeletal system and relaxation.