Updated: Aug 30, 2020
Breathing is one of the most undervalued functions of our bodies and yet we do it all day, every day (approx 25,000 times). Because breathing is autonomic, we often neglect or don’t even think about the processes or effect it has on us not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.
It might be obvious, but I think we sometimes need a reminder, that every part of your body needs oxygen to survive, and thrive. Everyday functions that we take for granted like digesting your food, moving your muscles or even just thinking, need oxygen. When these processes happen, carbon dioxide is produced as a waste product which we remove from our bodies through exhaling.
Your brain constantly gets signals from your body which detect the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood and it then sends signals to the muscles involved in breathing and adjusts your breathing rate depending on how active you are at that point. Clever isn’t it!
When did you last stop and pay any attention to how you breathe? Could you even describe how you breathe? I expect that most of you would say no. And yet we can live months without food, weeks without water and only minutes without breathing. Not only doing it but getting it right is really important.
The best breath teachers are babies. When you watch them they breathe in and out of their noses as their tummies rise up and down. This is how we are meant to do it and but as adults we have forgotten the art of breathing. We take shallow breaths in and out of our mouths high up into our chests therefore not filling out bodies with enough oxygen for:
· mental clarity
· high quality sleep
· improved immune response
· reduced stress
When you breathe deeply through your nose, your muscles relax, your blood pressure falls, your nerves are calmed, and consequently you have stronger mental and physical health.
It really is as simple as 3, 4, 5.
Breathe in through your nose for a count of 3, hold for a count of 4, breathe out through your nose for a count of 5. Repeat until you feel a sense of calm set in.