1. Reduce Anxiety: Most of us are in constant, low-grade stress and we tend to breathe shallow and quickly. Deep and conscious breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which kicks off the natural relaxation response. This is the exact opposite of a stress response. Breathe slower, deeper, and more consciously to reduce anxiety.
  2. Increase Clarity and Focus: Slow, conscious breathing fully oxygenates the brain. Try three slow, deep, conscious breaths the next time you are about to make a big decision. Feel the clarity. Notice your ability to focus more intentionally on the subject at hand.
  3. Elevate Mood: Ancient Shamanistic and Pranayama teachers in India reached altered states of consciousness through breathwork. Through a practice of noticing and, thus, controlling your breathing, you can create a consistent elevated mood with deep, slow, and conscious breaths throughout your day.
  4. Feed Healthy Cells: Cancer can’t live… where? The 1931 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Otto Warburg who discovered that cancer cells cannot thrive in a highly oxygenated environment. A preventative measure? Take deeper breaths.
  5. Allow Your Skin to Breathe: The skin is in! Deep, slow, conscious breaths stimulate blood flow to the skin for a more radiant and natural glow.
  6. Promote Digestion: A relaxed body supports proper organ function. We need healthy organ function to support our body’s unmanaged and systematic activities including digestion, elimination, and absorption.
  7. Eliminate Oxidative Stress: Deliberate breathing delivers more oxygen to your tissues. This increases the amount of oxygen in the body’s tissues and reduces the risk of hundreds of diseases.
  8. Reduce Cravings: Deep, conscious breathing can avert the need for an outside substance. Next time you reach for the diet soda (or whatever your vice is!), take three conscious breaths and ask yourself if you really want the side effects from it. Feel the empowerment within yourself. Go from substances to substance.
  9. Lower Blood Pressure: Long, slow, deep breaths fully oxygenate the heart muscle. This reduces heart rate and blood pressure.
  10. Sleep Sweetly: Deep, conscious breathing is known to stimulate the pineal gland, which is associated with sleep patterns. You may also notice more lucid dreaming.

From http://www.bobsima.com

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