Breathing is something we do without thinking. It is essential for life. Yet most people have developed a way of breathing that mirrors our fast paced, stress ridden lifestyle.
We all start off breathing correctly. If you watch a baby you will notice that it isn’t the chest that rises and falls as they breathe, but the stomach. Any movement in the chest region is a reaction to the stomach moving first. This is because babies and young children breathe into the abdomen and then allow the breath to fill upwards into the lungs. Most adults and older children breathe into the top half of the lungs only. Why? No one is sure, but my own theory is that as children we learn from adults. Children absorb so much, a lot of it subconsciously. As a mother of four and step mother of two, I have had the chance to see firsthand how children mimic the adults around them in, quite often, a way that is so accurate it is scary!
The way that most people breathe is actually the way we would naturally breathe when we are in a stressful situation. This sends a message to the body that we need to be in fight or flight mode, and keeps us in a constant stressful state. I don’t need to point out the health problems that this leads to!
So today try to breathe fully into your stomach and fill the whole body with breath. This massages the internal organs, releases toxins from the system, and brings us to a relaxed and balanced state. This in turn lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate and clears the head. You will find that your energy gradually returns and the world suddenly seems a brighter place.
The cleanest air is found in the countryside or near water and so visiting these places also helps to relieve stress symptoms and then we naturally begin to breathe more slowly and deeply.
Just breathing properly every day will help you in many ways and improve your health on a physical, mental and emotional level. Give it a try!