“When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.” ~Author Unknown
Success leaves clues. There must be a really good reason that breathing is the cornerstone of hundreds of mind-body techniques and spiritual practices around the globe that have spanned centuries through human existence.
Three good reasons why deep breathing brings so much to you:
- Increases oxygen content in your body (most importantly your brain).
Do you recall our little quiz from a couple of weeks ago? 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 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? As we have talked about before, 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 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. We’ll explore the incredible importance of presence in an upcoming blog. As a teaser, 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 nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
There 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 in to start your healthy breathing journey.
Simple. Breathe in for a count of 4 through your nose. Breathe out for a count of 4 through your nose. Stay mindful of the breath focusing on the movement of air in and out. Repeat at least 10 times.
Until next week…
Remember to slow down
Once in a while.
(I just made that up)
With Your Health on My Mind,
Dr. Richard Yoshimura