We do it without thinking. We do it every day, every minute, every moment. The breath is vital to our energy systems and the functioning of our bodies. Without it, we wouldn't survive.
When we are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious or unhappy our breath is directly affected. Think of how you feel when you awake from a nightmare, you are likely breathing fast and feeling anxious. Most of the time we don't pay attention to how we are breathing.
Take a moment and sit quietly. Pay attention to how you are breathing. Is it fast? Is it shallow? Or is it deep and slow? Now bring your thoughts to how you are feeling. What is on your mind? Are you anxious? Are you angry? Are you happy? Or are you sad? Whatever your feelings, they are completely ok. Having feelings is being human, without them we are not experiencing life fully.
Now bring your breath and your emotion together. If you are anxious is your breath fast? If you are happy is your breath slow? Just notice. No judgement. No conviction.
Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Breathe in through your nose slow and deep for the count of four. Hold for two counts, then exhale slowly. Breathe in for the count of four, hold for two, exhale. Breathe in for four, hold for two, exhale. Focus on the breath and if your mind wonders, that's ok. Acknowledge those thoughts and come back to them after, gently bring your mind back to your breath. Do this again for as many times as you like or feels comfortable.
Now notice how you feel. Do you feel calmer? Do you feel happier?
This simple exercise can be done anywhere at any time. On the bus, sitting at your desk at work, or in meditation.
Correct breathing includes the diaphragm and the stomach visibly rises up and down, not the chest.
Remember to breathe. Oxygen is our life force. Choose to breathe deeply, slowly, and feel it fill your body.
Choose wisely. Live vibrantly.
Photo by Bartochette on Unsplash