Who would have thought that there was a 'right' way to breathe!
You've gotta love our brilliant bodies and the way they are designed! The way it breathes instinctively without us even consciously thinking about it, is a miracle! As a result of a recent visit to a breathing clinic, with really positive results for myself so far, I decided to do some research on breathing and thought I would share some info on it with you! It may propel you into taking the time to consciously breathe effectively! As oxygen is the most vital element to the human body, being able to control our own breathing, enables us to work towards optimal health. When we inhale oxygen, it travels to our lungs and is dispensed to every cell in our body. Our cells exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide, a waste product sent back to the lungs to be expelled when we exhale. More than 70% of the toxins in our body are expelled this way. You don't have to work those brain cells too hard to work out that breathing effectively has wonderful health benefits! As a result of our busy & hectic lives, we are on high alert more often now than ever before and many of us have inadvertently adopted the habit of shallow breathing (known as 'chest breathing') Your body works at it's best when you breathe diaphragmatically (otherwise known as 'stomach breathing') most of the time.
Now, I am no expert on breathing. However if you want to consider taking the time to breathe more effectively here are some basics (based on what I have researched) that could get you started... The How To... Drop - your shoulders down Flop - relax all over Take a deep breath in gently through your nose, slowly and deeply into your stomach, then up under your rib cage and then to your chest. Hold for a second (this holding time differs according to the researcher) I do it for a count of 3-5 seconds. Exhale long and slow, out through your mouth Where? The great thing about breathing is that you can practice it anywhere anytime! Try it while you are driving, queuing up, and best of all (this one is recommended by my physio) in bed at both ends of the day. Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier in the morning and just lie there and breathe (be careful not to drift back into sleep!) The snooze button is good for this! And the same applies for going to bed at night. I have found that my sleep has felt more restorative than before I started this practice. The flow on effect... The wonderful effect of practicing breathing consciously is that without realising it, you naturally shift yourself into a state of mindfulness. You have no choice but to focus on the 'present' moment. An extra bonus... Each time you restore good breathing function, your body recognises this pattern and it will become habitual!
Well Being @ Work Tip!
Take the time to breathe consciously throughout the day. You can do this while sitting at your desk, walking around, typing on your laptop, sitting in meetings, and if you are a teacher, duty is a great time to do this!