Learning how to breathe properly can have a profound effect on your life. Often we don’t breathe properly, so our bodies are not getting sufficient oxygen and toxins are not being released fully. When we are anxious or stressed our breathing changes and we tend to breathe from the top of our lungs. Taking control of the breath during stressful situations can be really helpful. It can create a feeling of relaxation, control and increased well being.
There are many breathing techniques that can be helpful. The key is to breathe in slowly and deeply and then exhale slowly. The emphasis on extending the out breath which will increase relaxation and help balance the autonomic nervous system. The out breath has a calming effect on the nervous system. Shallow breathing lets stagnant air and pollutants accumulate in the depths of the lungs. Breathing all the way to the bottom of your lungs allows the release of stale air and helps improve lung performance.
Having oxygenated blood flowing through your body will help you feel better, and give you more energy.
As you learn to be aware of your breathing and practice slowing and normalising your breaths, your mind will quiet and your body relax. Poor breathing habits lessen the flow of oxygen to and from the body, making it harder for you to cope with stressful situations.
By increasing your awareness of your breathing and shifting to more abdominal breathing you balance the oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels in your body, normalise your heart rate, reduce muscle tension and any anxiety present with stress symptoms or thoughts.
Deep Abdominal Breathing
Exhale forcefully to empty your lungs.
Press your hands down on your abdomen while you exhale and then let your abdomen push your hands back up as you inhale deeply.
Imagine that your abdomen is a balloon and as you inhale you are filling it with air.
As you inhale first your abdomen, then your middle chest, then your upper chest will rise in one fluid movement.
Exhale through your mouth as if you are breathing out through a straw.Take long slow deep breaths that rise and lower you abdomen.Focus on the sound and feeling of your breathing as you become more and more relaxed.
When thoughts feelings and sensations catch your attention, just notice them and return to your breathing.Continue with this for the next little while.
Access your state of relaxation.
When you’ve learned to relax using abdominal breathing, you can use it to lower your tension level whenever you foresee you’re going to be in a stressful situation, during that situation and after that situation ends.
Deep breathing exercise.
Inhale through your nose for the count of 5.
Hold for a moment and observe the space.
Exhale through your mouth for the count of 7.
Repeat a few times until you feel more relaxed.
You can use this technique first thing in the morning and it will set you up for the day. Any tool that you use, that restores balance to the mind and body will have a huge benefit on your overall well being. What could be easier then breathing?
“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” ~Sanskrit proverb