For a long time, these essential questions have been asked and studied by a variety of people from many schools of thought – from spiritual practitioners, to emotional and physical therapists, and even scientists. Breathing properly can help us increase immunity, improve overall health, and massage and promote healthy organs. Breathing brings oxygen to the brain and all other parts of the body. It is the essential life force that helps us be in touch with our body fully. It connects us to our emotions. It helps us with posture and how we hold ourselves in relation to others and our world. It can help us calm, prevent, or treat anxiety, panic, and panic attacks. It treats fatigue and helps us become more resilient. We feel energized from good breathing.
Learning to breathe well is an easy and valuable introduction to healthy, mindful living.
Take a minute to notice your breath right now.
Hold one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breathe naturally for a few rounds. Which hand is moving when you breathe? If the hand on your chest is the only hand moving, then your breaths are too shallow and may be causing unwanted problems for you. Primarily you will not get enough oxygen into your system and that will stress your body and mind.
If you are feeling both hands moving when you breathe, congratulations! You are already using your breath to help you live a healthy balanced life.
For greater awareness of your breath and how it could work for you in your life, try some of these simple exercises:
Now that you know how to make a deep breath, consider bringing that into the following rotation of breathing. This exercise has been taught by many sources and is sometimes referred to as “Square Breathing” or “Box Breathing”. The benefits of “Square Breathing” are that it can help regulate your mind and body, it can calm you very quickly if you are upset, and it can help you focus if you are feeling anxious.
If you like these exercises you can explore breath work more fully and begin to use it daily as one of your many resilience strategies.
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