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Many alternative practices can help you maintain addiction recovery. That may include yoga, meditation, or mindfulness-based practices. When it comes to mindfulness, there are many techniques you can experiment with. One helpful technique, in particular, is breathwork. Breathing exercises can help you manage anxiety, depression, and substance use disorder (SUD), helping streamline your entire recovery process. Breathwork can also improve physical health, helping to improve your overall wellness.

Perhaps you already utilize breathing exercises to manage your mental health or have previously thought of experimenting with breathwork. If so, there is no better time than the present. Continue reading to learn more about breathwork, what it is, how it works, and how it can help your recovery journey today!

General Benefits of Breathing Exercises

Even individuals not trying to cope with addiction can benefit from breathing exercises. One of the most significant ways breathwork can help people is by reducing stress. Stress impacts us more than we may realize. It can cause physical changes within the body, such as the development of physical health conditions. Additionally, it can also cause our breathing patterns to change.

When we are anxious or overly stressed, our breathing typically becomes shallow. It disrupts the flow and balance of gases within our bodies and makes breathing more challenging. Learning to control that breathing will, first and foremost, reduce overall stress levels. Yet, the benefits of breathwork do not stop there.

Slow and controlled breathing exercises have many physiological benefits. It can:

  • Lower your heart rate
  • Help with blood pressure
  • Reduce the levels of stress hormones in the blood
  • Balance levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body
  • Improve your immune system
  • Increase physical energy
  • Reduce the build-up of lactic acid in your blood tissue
  • Increased overall feelings of calmness and well-being.

Furthermore, what other benefits do breathing exercises have on your mental health?

The Benefits of Breathing Exercises on Mental Health

Breathing exercises can be extremely effective for individuals with anxiety disorders, allowing individuals to reduce their anxieties and think more clearly. It can also improve symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder, to name a few. Of course, the effectiveness of these exercises often depends on individual factors and a client’s diagnosis.

It can be possible for the brain to associate different emotions with various breathing patterns. In the situation of a panic attack, depressive episode, or other mental health crises, the proper breathing techniques may trick your brain into thinking you are not experiencing a negative emotional state.

Now that we are familiar with the benefits of breathwork, you may be wondering, what are the different breathing techniques?

What Is Conscious Connected Breathwork?

Experimenting with different breathing exercises can be done by anyone, from anywhere, and for any purpose. Of the vast breathing techniques out there, many have begun experimenting with conscious connected breathwork (CCB). The International Breathwork Foundation (IBF) describes CCB as a “breathing technique in which the breather intentionally connects the inhale with the exhale without any pauses.” This experimental practice uses CCB and “body-mind techniques to support the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels of being.”

Another technique that has become increasingly popular is Wim Hof Breathing. According to the official Wim Hof Method website, the amount of oxygen you inhale impacts the energy released into your cells. Breathing affects us molecularly, and the Wim Hof Method can help the body maintain optimal conditions.

Consider visiting the official Wim Hof Method website to learn more about this breathing technique, what it entails, and how it can help. Yet, a greater question you may how breathing exercises can help with your addiction recovery.

How Can Breathing Exercises Help With Addiction Recovery?

For starters, stress can put your recovery at risk. Breathing exercises reduce stress, improve sleep, and offer mental clarity. Some may be skeptical of the efficacy of breathing techniques, which is understandable. However, reducing stress, improving sleep, and providing mental clarity can all strengthen your recovery.

Breathing exercises are a relaxation tool that can break the cycle of addictive behaviors. It increases your self-control, reduces risks of relapse, and improves overall well-being. Moreover, emotional control and psychological well-being are critical to maintaining long-term sobriety.

You Can Start Trying Breath Exercises at West Coast Recovery Centers Today

Breathwork and breathing exercises have many healing properties. Addiction causes a disconnect between mind and body; breathwork can fix this connection. It trains your body to manage cravings, integrates smoothly with yoga, and can be used as a distraction from addiction triggers.

At West Coast Recovery Centers, we encourage clients to feel empowered in the recovery journey. This includes empowering clients to have control over their treatment plan and experimenting with varying alternative and holistic mindfulness-based practices, including breathing exercises.

Contact West Coast today to learn more about the mindfulness practices we implement into our programs and the benefits of breathing exercises today.

Breathing is an involuntary process and is not something we typically think much of. We should, however, because breathing exercises can be instrumental in improving physical and mental well-being and addiction recovery. Breathwork reduces stress, increases mindfulness, and helps people manage their addiction triggers and cravings. Because of this, treatment facilities often incorporate breathwork into their treatment programs. Breathwork focuses on intentionality, unites the mind with the body, and helps the spirit to heal from harmful behaviors. Incorporating breathing exercises into our recovery program may prove more beneficial than you realize. To learn more about the benefits or inquire about using breathing exercises within our program, contact West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 today. 

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