Restorations Therapy Blog

How Does Deep Breathing Help With Mindfulness?

by on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

deep breathingPracticing mindfulness is an excellent way to help boost recovery from addiction and mental health disorders. This is because mindfulness allows you to become more aware of what you feel and sense in the present moment, teaching you to listen to your bodily functions and surroundings. Deep breathing is one of the many ways you can practice mindfulness to facilitate healing. There are many kinds of deep breathing exercises that you can take part in as a means of supporting your recovery.

By understanding the role of mindfulness in recovery, how deep breathing helps this practice, and how you can practice it yourself, you can become an expert in mindfulness and boost your health, happiness, and wellbeing.

The Role of Mindfulness in Recovery

Periods of stress, hopelessness, reckless emotions, and a general feeling of detachment from the world most likely characterized your lowest points of addiction. When you enter into recovery, take the time to reacquaint yourself with the world around you and your internal signs and signals. Practicing mindfulness reduces stress, regulates emotions, calms anxious thoughts, retrains yourself to become more aware, and breaks unhealthy thinking patterns.

By practicing mindfulness, you can learn how to relax more efficiently and boost your recovery by listening to your body’s needs both internally and externally. Even after years of sobriety, you can continue using mindfulness to maintain recovery and keep a healthy state of mind.

Deep Breathing and Mindfulness

Deep breathing exercises are known stress reducers; it makes sense that this practice is used when teaching individuals how to be mindful. Mindfulness and deep breathing have been used for centuries and continue to help those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

Deep breathing works by sending a signal to your brain to calm down and reduce the stress response. This helps slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce depression, thus allowing your body to calm down into a more tranquil state. When you use these techniques consistently, you can teach your body how to regulate stress and other negative emotions better, helping your overall mental health and boosting your recovery.

As you become accustomed to the practice and how it works, you will be more equipped to use it in times of distress, such as anxiety attacks, depression episodes, relapse triggers, and more. This can be life-saving, so it is important to practice deep breathing on your own. If you are unsure where to start, don’t worry. Follow the tips below to take your first steps towards mindfulness.

Practicing Deep Breathing on Your Own

There are a variety of techniques and methods to practice deep breathing on your own. Because of the different techniques, you have the option of trying a few until you discover the one that suits you best. If you want to try the practice on your own, consider these techniques to get started:

  • Diaphragm Breathing: Your diaphragm is a muscle that sits just below your lungs. By strengthening it, you can inhale more air and breathe more deeply than before, thus allowing you to focus and reduce stress more efficiently.

To practice diaphragm breathing, start by either sitting down or by lying flat on your back. Place one of your hands on the upper portion of the chest and the other below your rib cage on your stomach. Breath in through your nose slowly and feel your stomach grow under your hand as you try to keep your chest as flat and still as possible. Continue taking deep breaths that fill the entire lungs, repeating the process three more times a day for five to ten minutes at a time.

  • Intermittent Breath Retention: Sometimes, holding in oxygen while breathing can help induce mindfulness; this is how intermittent breath retention works. You can practice this method by sitting upright and emptying all the air from your lungs. Then, inhale through your lungs until they are full. Hold the breath for three to five seconds and then release. Pause for three to five additional seconds before inhaling again. Repeating this process should help you reduce stress and become more aware of your internal signs and signals.
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing: Learning to focus on deep breathing can be difficult at first. Alternate nostril breathing forces you to breathe through one nostril at a time by actively closing one after another. By practicing this breathing method, you can lower your blood pressure and increase your alertness, boosting your recovery over time. To practice this technique, start by sitting comfortably and closing your left nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your right nostril, then switch your hand to that nostril, closing it with your thumb. Exhale from your left nostril. Repeat this between five and ten times until you feel relaxed.

Mindfulness is crucial for recovery from addiction and mental health issues; it teaches you to listen to your body and what it needs for healing. Deep breathing is one of the most popular methods for practicing mindfulness, and it is also one of the most commonly used because of how easy and accessible it is. Because of the various deep breathing techniques, you can test out many before finding the one that works for you. If you need help getting started, call Restorations Therapy today. We work with clients of all ages to restore their lives from addiction and mental health disorders through a variety of holistic therapies and individualized treatment. Finding healing has never been easier than with Restorations Therapy. Call us today to learn more about our programs and take your first step towards healing. Reach out to us at (720) 446-6585. Your recovery starts with Restorations Therapy.

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