Do you know how are you breathing right now?
Take a moment and simply notice your breath. Perhaps place your hand on your navel and the other above your heart. Notice the movement as you inhale and exhale.
We breathe in and we breathe out. And for the most part we take it completely for granted.
Until something happens such as asthma, a cold, allergies or worse. When we notice it is difficult to breathe we appreciate it so much more.
How we breathe is not only a reflection of the health of our lungs, but also a reflection on how we live our life.
Did you know that our breath is connected to our emotional state?
When we feel:
Panic – It is short, fast, shallow breaths. Trying to get more air in by speeding up.
Anxious – It is shallow breaths seeking more reassuring air.
Tense – We hold onto the inhaled air, pausing at the top of the inhale before we let it be released, sometimes with a sigh.
Anger – It is long forced inhales and exhales. Fueling the flames like a bellows.
Calm – It is slow and steady breaths becoming shallower with relaxation.
Happy – It is long inhalations and long exhalations. Slowing it all down.
Did you also know we can change our emotional state by changing our breath? We can bring mindful awareness to our breath and create the emotional state that we seek.
Practitioners of Meditation and Yoga have done this for millennia – using awareness of the breath to come into the present moment, and bring about a more relaxed and centered state of being.
Science shows that when we slow the breath it signals to the brain and the parasympathetic nervous system that everything is well. No need to be on guard … its okay to relax and restore your natural balance.
So if we want to alleviate stress and become calm, slowing the breath works!
Try counting between 4 to 6 in your mind for each inhale and exhale. It can really make a difference. Why not set aside a few minutes and try it for yourself. It may feel awkward and take some practice but your body, mind and emotions will thank you for it.
Bringing awareness to our breathing is such a valuable guide to how we live our lives in that moment. With awareness of this comes choice. Please click here to explore more about your breath.
If you want to live your life fully then practice breathing fully.