Breathing is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do before we die but how much importance do we give to breathing?
We can stay alive for long periods without eating, drinking or sleeping, but if we can not breathe, we die within a few minutes.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t think twice about our pattern of breathing… because it’s automatic and we all do it on average 20,000 times a day, but why breathing properly is so important?
Breathing is important for two reasons:
1 it supplies our bodies and its various organs with oxygen, which is vital for our survival.
In fact, through our breathing we provide oxygen to our body which can not be stored and must be replenished continuously and steadily, so it is important to know how to breathe properly.
In addition, it’s the oxygen that allows the brain to work and if the oxygen is scarce the blood must flow faster.
2 With our breathing, we also get rid of waste products and toxins from the body.
Through our breathing, we bring not only oxygen to our body but also excrete toxic substances that we have created and with bad breathing these can easily stagnate in our bodies and damage our vital functions.
Unfortunately, most of us use only a third of the actual breathing capacity and, therefore, we can not breathe well.
Some signs of a bad breathing:
– Hold our breath at times
– Feel the need for a long breath
– Have a very short breath
– Ran out of breath when we are moving faster.
Our breathing is also the link between our body and our mind and for both to function well, they need oxygen.
If our way of breathing is short and quick our minds will be nervous and agitated.
If our breathing is irregular the mind is anxious and disturbed.
One of the main causes of a bad breathing can be a lack of exercise, but it is not always so.
By learning how to breathe well we will become healthier and stronger, but not only:
Knowing how to breathe also help us to control our emotions (anger included) and fears and keep a clear and sharp mind.
If our breathing is deep, slow and regular then our mind will reach a state of tranquillity and calm.
When we are upset or stressed our breathing becomes quick and shallow. Breathing deeply and slowly instantly calms us down mentally as well as physically.
Concentrating on our breathing, also helps us to live the present and feel alive.
Very often our mind is thinking about something while our body is doing something else, as a result, our mind and our body are not unified.
With breathing exercises, inhaling and exhaling, we bring our mind and body to work together because both are focused on the same thing and as I mentioned in my previous post we can feel alive because we are living in the present.
We can learn how to breathe properly by practicing some breathing exercises.
Let’s start with a simple breathing exercise that can be done at any time of the day, in three simple movements, at least for a couple of minutes:
1) Do a deep inhalation
2) Hold your breath for a few seconds
3) Then do a deep exhalation
If you feel a slight sense of vertigo, do not worry, it is due to the surge of a greater volume of oxygen to the brain.
I suggest to repeat this exercise several times throughout the day, especially at times when we are feeling particularly agitated, our morale is low or even when we feel tired.
– Complete Breathing
How to do it:
1) Stand up with your arms outstretched at your sides. Then exhale through our nose, emptying our lungs completely.
2) Inhale slowly through our nose and as we inhale we need to push out the abdomen first and then the chest.
3) While we are still inhaling slowly we bring our arms over our head and pull up on our toes and need count to 10 to complete these movements.
When we get to count to 10 we join the palms of our hands together over our head and hold it in this position for a few moments.
4) Exhale slowly through our nose counting to 10 and at the same time slowly we lower our arms and place our feet on the ground.
Repeat the exercise three to ten times, without pause.
The exercise can also be performed from a sitting or lying position, without arm movements.
– Exercise lying in supine position, in a horizontal position, with our back on the ground.
We begin to breathe evenly and gently focusing on the movement of our stomach.
As we begin to breathe we let our stomach rise up in order to bring air into the lower part of our lungs and as our lungs fill with air, our chest begins to rise while lowering our stomach. During this exercise, we must not strive.
The length of the exhalation will be longer of the inspirations.
We can repeat the exercise 10 times.
Doing some Breathing exercises in the morning and in the evening can help us to become healthier and stronger.
Oxygen is a natural “medicine”. We only need to learn how to breath properly and make a habit of it.
You might also like to read: the importance and benefits of meditation