Breathing to Improve Health


It Isn’t Just Respiration.

It seems like breathing should hold a place of greater importance for us. We can’t live without it right? However, it is one of those things a lot of people just take for granted. Notice the quality of your breath right now. Is it soft and shallow, or strong and deep? Are you holding yourself in a way that allows you to breathe easily?

You can improve your breathing.

Here’s a few things it does for you.

  • Respiration is crucial to life because we inhale air to obtain oxygen and exhale to eliminate carbon dioxide. Oxygen equals energy!
  • Breathing helps to regulate blood circulation. If you breathe faster your heart beat will increase and vice versa. It’s exercising your heart without exercise!
  • Your lungs function to regulate fluid balance/water metabolism and in this way also influence skin health.

Chinese medicine explains how the emotion of grief/sadness affects the lungs. Notice when you’re feeling depressed or sad that your breath is most likely slow and shallow. When you are feeling this way, you can concentrate on improving your breathing and notice how you may feel a little better, instantly.

Using breathing exercises in your morning ritual (don’t have one? Just start with this!) is a great way to start the day by generating energy and emotional wellbeing.

Do you have 30 seconds now?

Seat yourself upright in a comfortable position. Relax. Take a deep breath in through you nose, fill your lungs, and let it out.  Simply breathe. There is no need to force your breath or hold it for any time. Repeat 3 times.

If you have another minute, close your eyes and this time concentrate on any part of your body involved. It could be your nostrils, feeling the air as it passes. Or your chest as it rises, expands and contracts. Perhaps you’d prefer to count as you breathe in to fill your lungs, and count as you exhale to empty. Keep this concentration focused as you breathe. Become aware if your attention wanders and return to your attention to your breathing. Notice how you feel calmer and possibly re-energised following this simple, one-minute exercise.

There are many forms of breath exercises but you can simply focus and breathe to improve your wellbeing at any time of the day, wherever you are.

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