We All Breathe
Breath is what gives life to every living thing. We cannot exist without breathing. Breathing is something that happens automatically, an involuntary process controlled by the autonomic nervous system. However, we are capable of controlling our breath. There are different ways and techniques of breathing intentionally. So, it can also be done as a voluntary action by controlling our central nervous system. Conscious breathing techniques can make it possible for us to change the way we feel internally. Proper breathing techniques and awareness of breath can have dramatic implications on our health.
Paying Attention to Self Care through Breathing is Healing
Intentional breathing methods are an integral part of yoga, tai chi, and meditation. If you’re breathing effectively, your breath will be smooth, steady, and controlled. It should feel easy to breathe and your breath should be silent or quiet. Your abdomen area will expand with each inhalation and contract with each exhalation. You can also feel your ribs expand to the front, sides, and back with each inhalation and contract with each exhalation. Intentional breathing settles you down into the present moment. It can benefit one and all. Meditation is a more advanced form of intentional breathing which we can progress into once we become comfortable with learning how to breathe correctly first.
Stress – The Number One Disability Worldwide
In today’s world, in spite of all the advances in science and technology, studies show that the level of happiness in people is very low. With access to all the information, knowledge, and entertainment in the world we are still not a happy society. In spite of being connected through all the social platforms, people are still feeling alone. This seems counterintuitive. Depression, anxiety and sleep dysfunction are common disorders today. Taking a simple action in our own world such as paying attention to how we breathe, is all it takes to alleviate this global problem.
In a busy world we are allowing our breathing to be dictated by our autonomous nervous system. When we are physically stressed it sends a message to the brain to be on guard. It is called the flight or fight response. Changes in our emotions bring about changes in the way we breathe. On the other hand, breathing patterns can influence the emotions that we experience. So, when we settle into our seats and calm our breath consciously we can accept our emotions and our being without restraint and we can breathe calmness into our lives. This can improve our mind and our health. It can be called Intentional breathing, Purposeful breathing or Conscious breathing. It involves focus, calm and non reactiveness.
Our lungs are responsible in a big way in waste removal from the body. The toxins in the body are released in the form of carbon dioxide through the air that we exhale. Rapid and shallow breathing accumulates toxins in the body which can lead to the development of illness over time. Deep breathing improves blood circulation in the body and helps in the detoxification process. The extra oxygen supplied to the body also helps in some fat burning. It is important to eat a healthy diet, stay physically active and breathe correctly for overall well being.
Beneficial Effects of Purposeful Breathing
- Lowers stress levels and reduces anxiety and depression
- Improves focus, attention and concentration and helps the mind to function more acutely
- Reduces blood pressure
- Helps to lower the heart rate
- Cortisol levels in the body reduce
- Helps to boost digestion and metabolism
- Gets rid of toxins from the body
- Brings balance into life
- Replaces negative thought patterns with positive ones
- Relaxes every cell in the body
- Sleep quality improves
- Also helps to curb food cravings
- Deep breathing helps burn some extra fat from the body
- It also helps tone abdominal muscles
All day long we are responding to the environment practically in autopilot mode. If we consciously go off auto pilot and pay attention to how we breathe, it can help us take charge of our mind, body and nervous system. By using voluntary breathing techniques, we can make drastic positive changes in our life. Embracing breath work practise and doing the breathing exercises correctly makes breathing a powerful tool that can help in controlling the mind, body, and the nervous and endocrine system. It can do wonders to our overall well being. So breathe Freely and Fully. It is after all your birthright!
You can follow the links below for tips on better breathing: