The Power of a Breath
Posted on 28 September 2017
Most of us have forgotten how to breathe properly. As babies, we all breathed into our bellies, calm, relaxed, au natural. As time went on, most of us developed a habit of breathing into our upper chest not making full use of our lungs, in turn limiting the oxygen flow to our cells and even stiffening our posture. A habit that all too often develops from stress and anxiety.
Breathing is hugely connected to emotions. When you are angry or have anxiety, your breathing becomes short and rapid. When you are calm and happy, it is the opposite.
How do we return to our childlike behaviours? By learning to breathe again.
1. Find a comfortable seated position. No need to be picky here, a work chair, a bench outside or even a toilet seat works.
2. Begin by doing a quick scan of your body. Where do you feel tightness? What's your breathing rate like?
3. Once you have taken note of your current state, close your eyes (optional) and take a slow deep breath through your nose. Once you have reached full capacity, exhale slowly, evenly, through your nose, until you have emptied your lungs.
4. Count 5 on your inhale and 5 on your exhale. Nice, even flow.
5. Then place your focus on where the breath is going. Is your chest rising too much with each inhale? Utilizing your entire lungs also includes your diaphragm. A muscle found at the bottom of your rib cage. Upon inhaling, your diaphragm contracts allowing your entire lungs to fill with air. During exhalation, your diaphragm expands helping push air out of your lungs. So let's give our diaphragm a workout and breathe into the belly, making full use of your lungs, not just a part of it. Then fully exhale everything out. You can even place your hand on your upper abdomen to feel the rise and fall with each breath.