I spent a large amount of time in my childhood and college years playing trumpet. During that time I did a lot of deep breathing. Having good breath control is essential to being a successful trumpet player. In college I probably spent almost an hour a day just doing breathing exercises.
After college my time with the trumpet gradually diminished. Any more I only play every couple of months. With this lack of trumpet time has also come a lack of focus on breathing.
In recent months I have discovered that all that time breathing had more positive effects than I realized at the time. In additional to the benefits for trumpet playing, deep breathing is a great way to reduce stress and to give my body plenty of oxygen. A lack of oxygen has a wide range of negative effects on the human body.
With these things in mind, I have rededicated myself to spend some time doing deep breathing exercises each day. I have about a half an hour commute, each way, to and from work during the week. I have been using this time to focus on my breathing. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks, and can already tell a difference in my overall stress level.
If you’ve never spent any time doing deep breathing, I highly recommend you give it a try. Long slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth are a great place to start.