What exactly does breathwork mean? Breathwork is defined as breathing exercises, methods, or practices that help enhance and foster an individual’s well-being across the various levels of emotional, physical, psychological, and even spiritual ramifications. They are, in a tremendous sense of the word, therapeutic. Breathwork provides for the overall internal and external state of a being. In a nutshell, breathwork contributes to the positive psychology of an individual—the alternation of inhalations and exhalations is well-timed to produce maximum effect. While a breathwork session is ongoing, the most typical posture that ‘Breathworkers’ suggest is lying down. The experts dish out instructions on how to go about it, and other professionals on the side are present to render the necessary support needed. 
Compared to the practice of meditation, breathwork also aids in the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression through the dissolution of other internal psychological issues. Even though there is a distinction between meditation and breathwork, there are more similarities than differences. This means the areas of convergence outweigh the areas of divergence. To a large extent, meditation has specific breathwork techniques enshrined within it. Having clarified breathwork practices, it is essential to enumerate breathwork’s myriad of benefits. Many of the benefits of breathwork are psychological rather than physical. And as a result, they contribute a lot to positive psychology. They are enumerated and briefly explained in the following.
What Are the Benefits of Breathwork?
People derive a wide range of advantages from breathwork. Breathwork helps in the following ways.
1- It helps to develop or increase self-awareness. Since breathwork requires focus and attention, it boosts an individual’s awareness level.
2- It reduces stress. This includes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
3- It reduces anxiety. Anxious individuals become more relaxed after an effective breathwork session.
4- It eliminates depression. Depressed individuals often resort to breathwork (and meditation) to do away with what might be bothering them.
5- It cures chronic pain. As a result, the individual’s mental or emotional pain may be healed.
6- Breathwork also boosts the immune system of the individual that practices it. As a result, the person becomes more resilient and less prone to infections.
The other benefit of breathwork is that it is an effective tool through which different life skills can be developed. As a result of the focus and attention that breathwork requires, the individual is inclined to have their creativity boosted. Also, breathwork affects an individual’s overall personality. A person is very likely to have strong self-esteem and self-image. In many ways, breathwork has helped some people overcome their addictions.  This is primarily due to the fact that the concentration, focus, and strength derived in the process make the person more disciplined. Negative thoughts in an individual become minimal, and the person is more likely to be happier and moderately animated. All these advantages can improve the personal and professional relationships of the individual engaged in breathwork practices.
On the other hand, breathwork can be a little risky. What parts of life have no risks, anyway? When not done with a skilled practitioner, some side effects may occur. Some people may feel drowsy, and others may even feel uncomfortably tickled.  In the worst scenarios, individuals who suffer from diseases like asthma, among other cardiac issues, are more likely to be at risk. 
For those who seek to harness it, breathwork is a potent tool for improving the positive state of one’s psychology. It reduces or absolves the perturbed individual of depression, stress, anxiety, and other negative feelings and enables a healthy psychological state of mind.
- Himmat Kaur Victoria et al., Breathwork in body psychotherapy: Clinical applications, Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy An International Journal for Theory, Research and Practice, 2013; Vol 8, No 4, 216-228, DOI: 10.1080/17432979.2013.828657
- Lloyd Lalande et al., Breathwork: An Additional Treatment Option for Depression and Anxiety? J Contemp Psychother, 2012; No. 42:113–119 DOI 10.1007/s10879-011-9180-6
- Bryany Cusens et al., Evaluation of the Breathworks Mindfulness-Based Pain Management Programme: Effects on Well-Being and Multiple Measures of Mindfulness Clin. Psychol. Psychother, 2010; No 17, 63–78 DOI: 10.1002/cp