6 Reasons To Breathe Deeply
The mind and body are connected.
Like a domino effect, touching one, affects the other. When you fall down and hurt yourself for example, sensory receptors in our skin send a message through our nerve fibers in our body to our brain where the sensation is felt aka = Mind and body connection.
So, you're in pain. Maybe it's physical or emotional. You're human. It could very well be both. You're stressed. Maybe you're out of work and easily irritable. Maybe you really miss your family and friends. You're overwhelmed and life doesn't seem to give ya a break!
I get it. In addition to the normal kinda stress most of us feel on any given day, stress has increased a bajillion thanks to our "new normal". You might be doing okay most of the time, yet, based off a number of clients, I've learned that many are wearing "masks". And no, not the ones we slide on our faces when we leave the front door. You're bright and cheery on the outside, but on the inside you're hiding your anger and pain. So, how can you 'deal' with it?
Maybe you're taking one simple act for granted.
Your breath is your life force. When the breath is unsteady, everything in your life is unsteady. When the breath is calm; all is calm. So, take a moment and ask yourself, "how am I breathing?"
Feel your body and listen for the answer. Is your breathing quick and shallow? Or, is it slow and steady? Many of us are not breathing to our fullest potential. We are frantically running from one idea, person, place or thing to the next, not taking the time to fully fill ourselves with what we need to truly and literally survive... O X Y G E N.
Have you noticed that when you stop and allow yourself a slow, deep, full inhale, your exhale is also fulfilling? Don't ya really good? When you breathe deeply, you'll notice that your lower belly rises. It's not a special skill you need to learn. You've known how to do this perfectly since birth. The trouble is, that as you age, you learn to unlearn what comes naturally, so breathing properly is no longer your "norm". When you reset your focus and breathe deeply, it promotes your body to do it's 'natural thing' and S E L F - H E A L !
When you focus with love and intention on slowing and deepening your breath, you "gift" yourself the following:
1. Better Digestion
Breathing deeply brings oxygen and blood-flow to your gut, helping it work better by encouraging more movement in your intestines.
2 . Anxiety & Stress Reducer
When you're angry or stressed, your muscles tighten, causing your breathing to become shallow. This prevents you from getting enough oxygen into your body. Deep breathing reverses this and calms your nervous system by signaling the brain to slow down and fully relax.
3. Detoxes Your Body
Carbon dioxide is a natural toxic waste that only leaves our bodies through breathing. When we aren't breathing properly, the other detoxification system works overtime to get rid of this waste, making our immune systems weak which can cause you to get sick. Ahchuuu!
4. Natural Pain & Acne killer Your body releases an extra special hormone called endorphins. It's a natural painkiller made by the body. When you breathe deeply, it helps to balance your hormones, lowers cortisol "your fight or flight" hormone and pumps up those feel-so-good endorphins! And bonus: balanced hormones = balanced, clear skin!
5. Improves Circulation & Sleep When we take long, deep breaths, your diaphragm does a nice little dance and moves up and down. This helps to remove toxins from the body and also improves circulation and blood flow. Better circulation also helps with better sleep which means more: Zzzz's.
6. Perfects your Posture
When you breathe deeply, it naturally forces you to straighten up that Quasimodo hunched spine we all get after too much time sitting at our desks.. or couches. Take a deep breath and notice how it naturally brings your shoulders back and aligns your spine. If improving your posture is something you want to work on, try improving your breathing and you'll kill two birds with one stone!
Want to learn how to breath better?
Start slowly. Inhale to the count of 3, then exhale to the count of 3. Once you feel comfortable with that, do your best to consistently and gradually increase to 4 and eventually 5. Too busy and afraid you'll forget? Set an alarm each day to remind yourself that if you're eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, you'll spend a minute or two intentionally breathing before or after. Trust me, it will make a huge difference in your entire day.
Inhale: I, 2, 3, 4 5 and Exhale: 1, 2, 3, 4 5
Keep going. You've got this.
Here's to better breathing and everything else that domino effect will improve along the way!
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