Have you felt completely out of breath while underwater? Maybe you dove deep into the sea to touch the ocean floor, then to find yourself looking up at top of the water, uncertain you will be able to make it to air. In those moments all you can think about is that breath of air you so desperately want. It is in that moment, a breath is all you crave, all your body wants, there is nothing else you can think of.
Breathing is essential to living but often times we are unaware that we are doing it on average of 20,000 times that day. We can thank our automatic nervous system that unconsciously operates your breath without you even thinking about it. But all breath are not created equal and its important to practice controlled breathing. If you think about it some breath is continuous and some is interrupted by pauses. Some breath is rhythmical or irregular. Other breath comes from the diaphragm and some from the throat. According to Natural Cleaning Techniques, “we have all experience changings in our breathing under varying circumstances such as fear, anger, sorry and physical exertion…so each even affects the breath.” The best part is that “conversely, this relationship exists too, if we intentionally or unconsciously alter out pattern of inhalation and exhalation, it will affect our physical and emotional state.”
This week the Be Better Challenge is to practice deep breathing. Deep breathing has a long list of benefits including reducing stress, eliminating tension, releasing toxins, improving the quality of blood, and boosting energy levels. To help remind you put post-it- notes in places where you will consistently see them throughout the day labeled “BREATHE” as a reminder to stop and practice a deep breathing. Put some in your working space, bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom!
Some breathing techniques:
- Only breath through your nose
- Essential oil: Place a couple drops of essential oil on your hands, rub them together and cup your hands around your nose. Take even breathes. Four second inhale and four second exhale.
- Belly Breathing. Put your hand on your belly and take a deep breath in through you nose. Make sure that your diaphragm (not your chest) rises with air. Take 6-10 deep breaths
- 2-4-8 breathing: Inhale for 2 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds and breath out slowly for 8 seconds.
Here is a link with the numerous benefits of deep breathing as well as some techniques: http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2010/10/18- benefits-of-deep-breathing-and-how.html