Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

The importance of breathing deeply

Proper breathing enhances cardiovascular health by improving circulation, regulating blood pressure, and optimizing oxygenation of the blood.
The act of breathing plays a crucial role in the body's natural detoxification process.

Breathing is the rhythmic dance of life, the most fundamental process of life. It is the first thing we do when we enter this world and the last thing we let go of when we exit it. Breathing not only sustains life but plays a pivotal role in maintaining physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It is the centre of the body, mind and soul. 

Breathing enables the continuous exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The respiratory system involves the inhalation of breath, introducing oxygen to our systems, and exhalation which removes waste products, while balancing the body's pH levels. The respiratory system works with the circulatory system distributing oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, fueling organs and tissues, and supporting overall metabolic activity.

If we are not paying attention to our breathing nor focusing on deep breaths, we tend to breath too shallowly. In a shallow breath we don’t engage our core (a series of muscles from our diaphragm to our pelvic floor) which leads to problems with our posture, our level of oxygen intake, and our pelvic floor strength. Poor pelvic floor tone leads to bladder and bowel incontinence, among other core issues.

Proper breathing enhances cardiovascular health by improving circulation, regulating blood pressure, and optimizing oxygenation of the blood. The practice of deep breathing exercises can result in a lowering heart rate and blood pressure, lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Consistent deep breathing can improve the efficiency of the heart, thereby increasing endurance and physical performance.

The act of breathing plays a crucial role in the body's natural detoxification process. Not only does each exhaled breath expel carbon dioxide and other waste products from the body, but breathing aids in the functioning of the lymphatic system, which removes toxins and waste from tissues. Enhanced breathing promotes better lymphatic flow, contributing to a stronger immune system and a decreased risk of disease.  Enhanced breathing involves choosing a deep breathing technique to practice regularly.

Adequate oxygenation through proper breathing is also essential for the optimal functioning of the digestive system. Breathing deeply and mindfully can stimulate the digestive organs, improve metabolism, and aid in the efficient breakdown and absorption of nutrients. Deep breathing exercises have been associated with alleviating symptoms of digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion.

Breathing exercises can help to alleviate chronic pain and reduce inflammation in our bodies. Through relaxation and increased oxygenation, deep breathing can diminish the perception of pain and promote healing. Additionally, it fosters a decrease in inflammatory markers in the body, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Deep and rhythmic breathing before bedtime can significantly improve sleep quality. It triggers the relaxation response, reducing the activity of stress hormones and promoting a sense of calm. Regular practice of breathing exercises at bedtime has been associated with improved sleep quality, particularly for individuals suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders.  Many have found that counting up to 4 or 5 on the in-breath, holding for a few seconds and then releasing the breath slowly to a count of 6 or 7 is an effective way to focus and relax.  My practice of deep breathing at bedtime involves focussing on deep breathing and only allowing thoughts of gratitude. If fear and anxiety creep in, I collect myself through mindful redirection back to my breath, my gratitude and choosing to surrender those thoughts which don’t serve my inner peace.

Breathing serves as a bridge between our minds, our body and our spiritual well-being. It has a profound impact on the autonomic nervous system, influencing stress levels, mood, and cognitive function. Deep, slow breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a state of relaxation and calmness, whereas shallow, rapid breathing can induce a state of stress and anxiety. Mindful breathing exercises bring us into a state of presence and there is nothing more present than the breath we are in right now.  (I will write about the Benefits of Being Present in another article.)  The word Breath in Latin is Spiritus which means Spirit – the very centre of us.  This is why centering, grounding, relaxing and spiritual connection are mainly achieved through focus on the breath.

Breathing is the essence of life, a vital process with far-reaching implications for our physical, mental and spiritual health. The benefits of proper breathing extend from improving cardiovascular and digestive health to reducing stress, inflammation, and enhancing sleep quality, as well as fostering mental clarity, and emotional/spiritual tranquility. We are nowhere else but in the breath we are taking at this exact moment. Every breath we take is a crucial note in the harmonious melody of our existence and the grand symphony of life.

Claire Nielsen is a health coach, author, public speaker and founder of The information provided in the above article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health and medical advice. Please consult a doctor, health-care provider or mental health practitioner if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses and/or treatment