If you’re like many people, you may think that the key to more energy lies in exercising more often or getting more rest. In some situations, that may be true, but you can also boost your energy levels by doing something that’s necessary for survival: breathing.
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Read below to get some tips on how to keep your body healthier and ready for action by controlling your respiration.
Breathe Through Your Diaphragm
Using your diaphragm to breathe in a specific way is key to making the most of each breath you take. Luckily, it’s easy to get started and make this kind of breathing into a constant habit. Just sit up straight in a chair and place your hands gently on your stomach.
Inhale through your nose. Doing that filters the air before it enters the rest of your body. Draw the breath into your stomach instead of your chest. As you do so, you should feel your stomach gently moving outward. Whether you exhale through your nose or mouth, always do so by pushing your stomach in and up, rather than downwards.
Breathing in this way might not just make you feel more energized, but also more focused. That could mean you get more tasks done throughout the day, find it easier to engage fully in conversations, and feel calmer when you’re under pressure.
Support Your Immune System
If you often feel run down and anything but energetic, it could be because your immune system is taxed. If you think that’s the case, there’s a breathing exercise that could help. Try it by inhaling deeply through your nose and into your abdomen. Do that until your lungs are full.
When you exhale, let the air escape through your mouth and lips so that a whooshing sound can be heard. Release the air slowly until your lungs are completely empty. This is a stress relief type of breathing.
Since excessive stress can make your immune system be less effective, this technique can make you feel less lethargic and may even prevent you from getting sick as often.
Calm Yourself Down
When anxious, we often take breaths that are shallow and short. They deprive the body of oxygen and can also cause a feeling of panic. That means even if you’re doing something that’s intended to improve how energetic you feel, such as a gym workout, your efforts might not be as worthwhile unless you’re breathing correctly.
Coach yourself to breathe in a way that lessens anxiety by drawing breath in through your nose for three to five seconds. Then, exhale for six to 10 seconds. With this exercise, the timing of each breath phase is most important, so there is no need to worry about fully emptying your lungs before the next breath.
Avoid the Effects of Overindulging In An Effort To Feel Energetic
Have you ever scarfed down some food in a hurry, all because you think doing that will make you feel more awake? If so, you’re not alone, but you probably found out later that what you did actually caused your energy levels to plummet.
However, a study that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that breathing through the diaphragm (just like you learned to do above) helped combat some of the energy-zapping effects of eating a high-carbohydrate meal that’s also full of calories.
To get the full effect, you need to practice diaphragmatic breathing for at least 30 minutes after eating the meal. Get your timing right by breathing in and out for three seconds each.
Breathe To Stay Alert
Whenever it seems like your concentration is waning, you might be able to recharge by doing what’s sometimes referred to as The Stimulating Breath or The Bellows Breath. Take breaths rapidly through your nose, and aim for a rate of three breath cycles (inhaling and exhaling) per second. Make sure that each breath phase is even in terms of the length of time it lasts.
When you try this type of breathing for the first time, don’t do it for more than 15 seconds before returning to normal breathing. As you become more experienced, though, you can increase the duration by five seconds each time you practice, until you eventually work up to a full minute.
Now you’ve learned several ways to feel more energetic by doing nothing more than managing your breathing. If you’re like many people, you don’t think very much about your breathing and just let it happen naturally. However, becoming mindful of just how you breathe can help to give you more pep in your step.