We would love to share one of the most powerful resources we have for whole body/mind health. Breathing!
I wrote this article a few years back, and it is just as relevant now as it was back then.
“When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace” – Author Unknown
Success leaves clues. There is a good reason that breathing is the cornerstone of hundreds of mind-body techniques and spiritual practices around the globe that have spanned centuries.
Here are three good reasons why deep breathing brings so much to you:
- Increases oxygen content in your body (most importantly, your brain).
The second most important form of energy to our body is oxygen. Your brain makes up about 2-3% of your total body mass yet uses more than 20% of the oxygen. By deep breathing regularly, you will support your beautiful brain with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Remember that oxygen=energy.
- Helps your mind-body relax.
Have you ever been stressed out about something and then suddenly realized that everything was OK? You may have even made a little sound that went something like….Ahhhhhh. You know it; the sigh of relief. This is your body’s wisdom at its best. The sigh is simply a deep breath; the sound we make creates a resonance that relaxes our body and mind. How cool is that? Anything that puts your mind-body in a place of relaxation and peace is precious beyond calculation.
- Puts you in the present moment.
Each breath you take is in the past, and you cannot “future breathe.” Have you ever thought of that? What this means is that if you are concentrating on your breathing, in and out, you have no choice but to be in the present moment. Here is a quote from Eckert Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” to illustrate why presence is a key to our peace of mind and happiness:
“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence.”
There are literally hundreds of breathing exercises and techniques that we can explore and use in our daily lives. Just Google “breathing techniques” and you will see what I mean.
Here is an easy beginner breathing exercise to start your healthy breathing journey:
4X4 Breathing (Box Breathing)
It’s Simple. Breathe in for a count of 4 through your nose. Breathe out for a count of 4 through your nose. Visualize your breathing moving through each side of the box as you go through each breathing cycle. Stay mindful of the breath focusing on the movement of air in and out. Repeat at least ten times. This is a powerful yet simple technique that, at minimum, helps clear the mind, relax the body and improve your focus.
With Your Health On My Mind,