Take a breather!

22 Aug

Breathing.
It’s something we don’t think about but something that is so important. Without breath we don’t have life.
Breathing is something we typically don’t focus on or think about in our day to day routines (thank goodness for that!). Rather within our daily routines we often find ourselves absorbed in the day and the events that are going on around us. During this time and throughout the day you probably have not even paid attention to your breathing pattern. Read on and learn why deep breathing is so beneficial for you.

Most of us tend to be rather shallow breathers. Try this exercise; place one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest take notice of what hand is rising and falling while you breathe. If the hand on your chest is rising up and down you are breathing shallow. If the hand on your belly rises then you are breathing deep, and guess what, this is the kind of breathing you want to be doing all the time. This type of breathing uses the full capacity of the lungs and also taps into the parasympathetic nervous system- the branch of the nervous system that helps to calm the body and mind. The more we are able to tap into this branch of the nervous system the better we are at reducing stress, promoting relaxation and thinking with a clearer mind. Breathing is also important as it delivers oxygen to all parts of the body; so the deeper the breathing the greater the nutrients being delivered to your entire body.

Don’t fear if you find you are a shallow breather. Knowing this is the first step, and in knowing this you now have the ability to pay attention to your breathing throughout the day. When you find yourself breathing shallow take a few really deep inhales and exhales in and out, keep doing this and deep breathing will eventually become more automatic.

Here’s a short list of some things you can do to help connect with your breath:
• Yoga is often a good place to start. Not only is it good for the body but it also really focuses on putting your breath and movement together. You begin to be more aware of your body and how you move through your own breathing.

• Receiving regular massage is another way to focus on your breath. Typically in a massage session your breathing will automatically slow down and deepen, this is because massage is a great stress reducer and when we are under little to no stress the body is allowed to slow down and the breath is able to deepen.

• Focused breathing/mindful breathing is also another great way to tune into your breathing patterns. Focused breathing is something you can do on a daily basis even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes. Sit down in a comfortable position; you can listen to calming music if you like (I recommend instrumental as lyrics can be distracting). Close your eyes and focus on your breathing and nothing else at all. Any thoughts that come to mind honor them and let them go, for now focus on the breath.

Aromatherapy is another way to get in tune to your breathing. Using a diffuser and placing essential oils in it that you enjoy forces you to breath in the wonderful aroma you smell! Essential oils can also help to calm the body and mind as well which in turn allows you to breathe deeply from your belly!

With this information I encourage all of you to take notice of how you are breathing throughout the day. If it is shallow, take a few deep breaths and remember your breathing and breath is your life force! Take care of your body and your mind; we can’t always be running high gear, as this is too taxing on the body. So breathe and take care!

…Stay tuned…my next blog will feature the essential oil of Frankincense. You can learn about its benefits and also how to incorporate it into focused breathing!

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One Response to “Take a breather!”

  1. Elizabeth Smith August 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    What a great blog! I felt myself concentrating on my breathing as I read this article. I will try to pay closer attention to my breathing patterns, and take more deep breaths each day!

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