Mindful Breathing For Improved Focus And Concentration

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Published on: 25-Mar-2023

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Shubhi Sidnis

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Mindful Breathing For Improved Focus And Concentration

Mindful Breathing For Improved Focus And Concentration

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Staying focused when working from home might be challenging today. We live in a distracted age; with the sum total of human knowledge available in seconds, it is easy to get sidetracked by family, TV, snacking, chores, and get caught up wih many medical condition and stress.

Furthermore, our concentration is among the first things to go on a poor mental health day. Weak concentration can be a hallmark of depression, excessive worry can make it difficult to settle, and burnout can cause a cloudy mind. Deep breathing can help with brain fog, focus, and working memory.

Examining the underlying cause of our straying minds is critical in these situations. But, in the meantime, there are several things we can do to help increase our concentration, and they may be as simple as, well, breathing. Hence, if you want to improve your focus and memory, attempt deep breathing exercises.

Table Of Contents

1. What Is Mindful Breathing?

2. How Does Mindful Breathing Work?

3. Some Of The Popular Breathing Techniques

4. Dietician Recommendations

5. The Final Say

6. FAQs

What Is Mindful Breathing?

Mindful breathing is simply focusing on your breath during meditation or yoga. Only a few of your body's automatic activities are under your control. One of them is breathing.

You can control your breathing as well as watch it. Conscious breathing provides an excellent opportunity to enhance the mind-body connection and encourage self-awareness. The genius of mindful or aware breathing is that it can be done anywhere, at any time, and  completely transform  you from the inside over time.

Although guided breathing meditation classes are available, breathing exercises have no "absolute" rules. Meditation and breathing practices can help you learn, but the power of concentrated breathing is always within you.

How Does Mindful Breathing Work?

Breathing affects noradrenaline/norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter, and hormone released when you are engaged or intrigued. Too much noradrenaline is created during stressful periods, which might impair your capacity to focus. Conversely, if you generate too little, you may feel lethargic and unable to concentrate. Decreased norepinephrine levels can lead to memory issues, decreased attentiveness, and apathy. In addition, decreased norepinephrine levels have been associated with low blood pressure, depression, chronic fatigue, and other conditions.

Your norepinephrine production is synchronised with your breathing. Deep mindful breathing can boost norepinephrine levels and improve your capacity to focus. Take deep, steady breaths to boost productivity when working or dealing with stressful circumstances. We frequently take short breaths through our chests. Breathing exercises and meditation can improve your breathing and focus. 

Breathing exercises strengthen our neurological system's "Rest and Digest" system. This will assist you in relaxing by lowering your heart rate. In addition, deep belly breaths taken through the nose are associated with improved memory recall. Furthermore, breathing rhythms help restore tranquillity and can work as a self-care.

Some Of The Popular Breathing Techniques

Some Of The Popular Breathing Techniques

Let us see some of the mindful breathing techniques and how they are performed:

1. 4-3-8 Breathing

The 4-3-8 exercise helps the body to control its breathing. This will relieve tension, improve focus, and restore oxygen levels. To notice benefits, repeat this approach twice every day.

  • Take a comfortable position and sit or lie down
  • Place your hand on your belly while keeping your eyes closed
  • Take a deep breath with the nose for 4 seconds and expand the belly
  • Count to three while holding your breath.
  • Exhale for 8 seconds while relaxing the belly
  • Repeat 3 to 7 times

2. Breathing Focus

Breath focus uses calming phrases and imagery to release stress. You can do so by visualising a peaceful setting and saying, “I breathe in peace and calm. I breathe out stress and worry.” as you inhale and exhale. Here are eight steps to practising breath focus:

  • Place yourself in a comfortable position.
  • Shut your eyes for a moment.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Inhale deeply and visualise the air being filled with tranquillity. Feel this peace within the body as you inhale.
  • Breathe out and visualise the stress leaving your body as you exhale.
  • Repeat the sentence "I breathe in peace and quiet" as you inhale.
  • Repeat "I breathe out stress and worry" as you exhale.
  • Continue for 5-10 minutes or until you feel calm.

3. Mindful Breathing

Mindful breathing can be done by examining how breathing affects the body. Concentrate on your legs, arms, hands, and chest when breathing. This will assist you in relaxing in places where you are stressed, regulate your breathing patterns and helps in stress reduction. The following are six steps to practicing mindful breathing:

  • Lie down in a comfortable position
  • Shut your eyes for a moment
  • Observe your breath
  • Concentrate on the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of your nostrils as you inhale and exhale.
  • Pay attention to your arms, legs, and shoulders. Tension each body part for 3 seconds before relaxing.
  • Repeat 3-5 times or until completely relaxed.

4. Pursed Lip Breathing

Pursed lip breathing lowers breathing rate and can be done at any time. This can be used while walking, lifting, meditating, working, climbing stairs, and other activities. Here are four simple techniques to get you started with pursed lip breathing:

  • Relax your shoulders
  • Inhale with your mouth closed for 2 seconds
  • Purse your lips and exhale through the mouth for 4 seconds
  • Rep 4–5 times per day.

Dietitian’s Recommendation

When anxious or agitated, breathing exercises may work as a relaxation technique, help you control your emotions, and enhance your emotional intelligence. In the morning, as soon as you open your eyes, you can practice mindful breathing to relieve muscle stiffness and back tightness and unclog congested breathing passages.

 

-Dietitian Lavina Chauhan

The Final Say

Mindful breathing spans a wide spectrum of mindfulness-based activities and practices, so numerous options exist. When it comes to results, though, consistency is essential. If you want to develop the habit, establish a set time of day and one mindful breathing practice you will likely stay with.

FAQs

1. Can breathing increase concentration?

Breathing affects noradrenaline levels in the body. Noradrenaline is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in attention and thinking. It helps us boost focus, sustain concentration, and maintain alertness and motivation.

2. What is the 4 4 4 breathing technique?

Box breathing, also known as four-square breathing, involves exhaling to a count of four, holding your breath for a count of four, and inhaling at the same pace while holding air in your lungs for a count of four before exhaling and beginning the pattern a new.

3. Is mindful breathing a good breath meditation for beginners?

Yes, mindful or meditative breathing is a great way to start if you are interested in meditation. All meditations use the breath in some way. Therefore, taking several long, deep breaths at the beginning of a meditation session is common practice.

4. Which breathing techniques are recommended?

Several different types of breathing exercises help to achieve mindfulness. As mentioned, square breathing is one, 478 breathing is another, and diaphragmatic breathing and pranayama breathing. 

5. How can I concentrate on my breathing?

Concentrating on breathing may seem daunting if you have never done it before. But, really, the practice is just as it sounds: Put as much attention as possible to the simple act of breathing.

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