Breathing Meditation

“Take a deep breath” – We have probably all heard this advice before and for good reason; In addition to calming the body, breathing meditation reduces the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, helping to:

  • Lower blood pressure, heart rate, and blood cortisol levels
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Reduce perspiration
  • Slow the respiratory rate
  • Decrease anxiety and stress
  • Promote overall relaxation and feelings of well-being

Herbert Benson, MD, a researcher at Harvard University Medical School, summed up the benefits of breathing meditation with the term “relaxation response” which applies to breathing as well as other mindfulness meditation. Benson stated that the relaxation response “is an opposite, involuntary response that causes a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.”

In addition to the physical and psychological benefits of using the breath in meditation, it helps us to focus the mind and become more conscious of the present moment and the richness of that moment. It also helps us to pause and gather our thoughts before we act, (avoiding the all too common “knee jerk” self defense reaction) assisting us to respond in a calm and collected manner.

Breathing meditations are easily adapted to be used in a number of different situations. Some situations where breathing meditation can be beneficial are:

  • For relaxation
  • To let go of negativity
  • Bring inner peace
  • Learn about the body
  • Connect the mind and body

Learn More About Breathing Meditations:

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Woman meditating in her office

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Breathing Part 3

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Breathing Part 2

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Breathing Meditation 1

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