Breathe … just relax and breathe. How you breathe affects every aspect of your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. You would think something as automatic as taking a breath would be done in the best way possible for us. That is not the case.
What you do automatically has more to do with what you have observed others doing. This is the means by which your subconscious habits develop, like how you breathe. Then factor in stress, tension, aches or pain you may be feeling, and in response your breathing becomes even more shallow. Fashion can also play a role; tight waistlines and holding in your abdomen all inhibit proper breathing.
The overwhelming majority of people today have become shallow breathers which reduces the amount of oxygen your body desperately needs. Reduced oxygen levels lead to a myriad of health problems. It can affect blood pressure, asthma, confusion, depression and pain, just to name a few.
Proper breathing is vital to all your body processes, especially energy production. Athletes who get that painful cramp in their side are not breathing properly. When the diaphragm doesn’t get enough oxygen as it’s trying to work harder, it will develop a severe cramp. And it definitely stops you from going further until it gets the oxygen it wants.
Oxygen is also crucial when your body is healing from injuries and is critical when there is severe tissue damage as in the case of burns. This intensive healing involves special treatments in hyperbaric oxygen chambers which are designed to safely elevate the oxygen levels in the blood that promotes healing of damaged tissues.
You would think breathing would be the most natural thing we could do, but as the tension, stress, pain, or fear level increases, our breath shortens. When you breathe deeply and fully, it actually relieves tension and reduces stress. As more oxygen gets into your system, all areas of your body begin to work better and work to promote healing as well.
Notice your breath. How deeply do you actually breathe? Are you filling your lungs to capacity at any time? Does your abdomen expand when you breathe? If you only raise your shoulders when you breathe, you only bring in air to the upper part of your lungs and is considered a dysfunctional breath. When you expand your abdomen as you breathe, air is reaching the lower area of your lungs filling them more completely which brings more oxygen into your body.
If you are athletic, when you breathe deeply during your activity, you improve your performance. Muscle functions better and to it’s peak ability when it gets enough oxygen. Oxygen is necessary to activate ATP, which is the reaction that gives you the energy for your muscles to work. It’s what fuels the energy your body needs to function properly.
When feeling overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, frustrated or anytime you are tense about something .. Breathe! Research has shown that it relieves tension, lowers blood pressure, improves your mood and so much more.
Easy Ways To Improve How You Breathe
–The first step is for you to discover how to actually take a proper breath. Here is short video by Dr. Belisa Vranich that I highly recommend to help you understand why this happens and what to do.
–The next step would be to take a look at the environment where you live and work. Is there anything that may inhibit your breath. When the area you spend most of your time in has air with high levels of pollutants and/or allergens, you may be breathing shallow because of it. Here is a simple and easy way to cleanse the air and improve the levels of oxygen in your home or at work, check it out HERE
–If you find any form of resistance that may be inhibiting you from breathing deeply, Young Living has an essential oil blend just for that, it’s called: Breathe Again. The combination works to reduce inflammation and relax areas that may be restricted so you are able to breathe easier and deeper.
–The last simple and easy way to improve your breathing is a Take 5 Break. Whenever you are feeling tense, stressed, overwhelmed, unable to focus, or anytime you can … TAKE 5, breathing slowly and deeply.
Here is how to do the simple Take 5 Breath Technique:
- Take a breath in – expanding your abdomen and ribs out & around slowly counting to 5.
- Hold that full breath to a count of 5.
- Exhale slowly to the count of 5.
- Then hold to the count of 5 before taking the next breath.
- Repeat 5 times.
You will be amazed at the results. If the situation is very intense, you may have to repeat this a few times to release the tension.
As always, if there is a medical reason you are unable to take a deep breath, it may be best to consult your doctor. On the other hand, if these techniques are not able to assist you in breathing properly or reduce your tension, you may need a little help. Contact Me and we can discuss your concerns.