Breathe Well ‚ ¨ Stress Less
Fresh HR Insights Pty Ltd is delighted to introduce Karen Mudie who will be writing a series of articles for us. Karen os a highly sought after Health and Wellbeing Educator, Life Coach, Reiki Masters and Inspirational Facilitator of change
Written by Karen Mudie
Breathing is an essential part of life otherwise we die.
For an action that is so simple and so innate, it is actually the one thing we all have in common in order to stay alive, yet our inability to breathe properly is robbing us of obtaining optimal health and wellbeing.
So what’s the big deal you ask? Breathing is breathing‚Äö√Ñ¬∂we take air in and we let air out and when we exercise we breathe faster and harder, and when we don’t ‚ ¨ we don’t.
It seems simple, and so it should, however, many of us, do not fully understand the deeper connection breathing has in relation to the rest of the body, how it functions, performs and behaves.
Deep breathing is not only important from the viewpoint of health and wellbeing, it is also an integral part of the mind and it’s connection to our body.
The action of deep breathing increases our vitality and promotes relaxation, however, when most people take a deep breath, they do exactly the opposite ‚ ¨ they suck in their bellies and raise the shoulders. This is called shallow breathing.
Most of us breathe too fast. We expelling carbon dioxide too quickly which, in turn, results in a negative effect on our physical and emotional health.
Deep breathing takes advantage of the fact the lungs are larger toward the bottom than the top, providing a positive effect on the body as more oxygen is taken in and more carbon dioxide is released with each breath.
When our breathing is natural and deep, it also slows down. This slower, deeper breathing turns the on‚ π switch to our ability to calm down and relax.
One of the simplest, safest and powerful breathing practices you can undertake is to consciously follow your own breathing patterns and be aware of the process. This will help free you from your automatic thoughts and emotional responses and assist you to live with more openness and clarity.
A Simple ‚ ≤HOW TO’ Breathe Well
- To begin, take a deep inhalation, go slowly at first and not forcing the breath. You may find this uncomfortable in the beginning as your ribs, diaphragm and associated muscles may be tight.
- Ensuring you are breathing deep into your abdominal area. To check if you are doing this, place your hands on your stomach or below your ribs and watch to see if it rises or expands with each inhalation.
- With you next inhalation, you may choose to hold your breath here for a few counts, before gently exhaling.
- I encourage my clients to start with a count of TWO, then gradually increase to a count of FIVE or more.
- Repeat for about 10 minutes three times a day, each time allowing the breath to become deeper and slower.
This particular exercise is especially useful when feeling anxious or angry.
The regular practice of deep breathing will not only allow a deeper connectedness from within, it centres and clams the central nervous system and has an energising effect on the body, increasing our vitality and promoting relaxation for the physical body, mind and spirit.