Updated: Apr 11
You breathe somewhere between 17,000 and 29,000 times per day, or 6 to 10 million breaths per year, and yet we have little understanding of this essential act of living that we do every moment of every day.
Think of the breath as a tool that can help you in so many situations, and improve your physical and mental health, as well as performance and emotional wellbeing.
The breath is a superpower that can:
· Give you more natural energy for the muscles, joints and cells
· Help you to think more clearly and be more creative
· Turn off the busy mind and find calm, even in the most stressful situations
· Access meditative flow states in a matter of minutes
Breathing is the only function in our body that happens completely automatically and is 100% under our control. The way we breathe significantly impacts our quality of life and many health professionals have pioneered the use of breathing techniques as an effective emotional therapy helping people work through mental and emotional challenges such as trauma, anxiety and depression.
If we could give you one good healthier living tip right now, it would be to simply learn how to breathe correctly.
A few simple steps to start with would be to:
· Bring your focus to observing the natural breath
(Just bringing our awareness to the natural breath can take us off of autopilot and into the present moment and what is truly going on for us)
· How are you breathing through just the nose, just the mouth or nose and mouth?
(Nasal breathing increases oxygen delivery to your cells and keeps C02 levels in your blood balanced and can even improve the overall capacity of your lungs. Nasal breathing also helps to produce nitric oxide levels, an important gas whose antiviral and antibacterial qualities work on the destruction of viruses in the airways and lungs.)
· Does your chest area rise and fall with each breath or the abdominal area?
(Try to direct the breathing through the abdomen for a more relaxed breath. if it helps place one hand on the chest and one on the abdomen, and try to ensure the one on the abdomen is the hand moving)
· Can you notice all the areas associated with breathing in the body?
(pay attention to each breath entering and leaving the body through the nose or mouth, travelling down the airway to the lungs, the expanding or the lungs and ribcage, the contracting of the lungs and ribcage etc.)
· Do you notice any specific thoughts, feelings on sensations?
(If you notice any thoughts, feelings or sensations arising in your mind why you are trying to focus on the breath, acknowledge them with a kind curiosity and then let them go and bring your focus back to the anchor of the breath.)
· Does each in breath and out breath feel equal?
(Can you make the in breath and out breath equal, so for example breathing in for a count of 4 and breathing out for a count of 4. If you are stressed or anxious, maybe try extending the out breath and using a count of breathing in for 4 and out for 8)
If you need any further support with stress management techniques, please get in contact to book an appointment to discuss further.