A healthy mind has an easy breath. ~Author Unknown
Breathing. I never used to think about it, unless I was running and started to get out of breath or going to sleep and remembered I should breathe through my nose. I had people tell me I didn’t seem to be breathing at all while I was speaking, but I never thought anything of it. I had many things on my mind, and was always thinking one step ahead of what I was saying. I didn’t realize how my state of mind was impacting my breath – or more importantly how my breath was impacting my state of mind.
We breathe on average about 21,000 breaths a day – how often do you pay attention? Slow controlled breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to immediately calm us down, and bring us back to the present moment. Over time, with practice, slow controlled breathing can train our body to react differently to stressful situations and diminish the production of harmful stress hormones.
How you are breathing right now?
Your breath is an indication – a measuring stick – of what is going on in your body and in your mind. Yet, we are so often moving from place to place or task to task with urgency, and on automatic pilot, that we miss out on our breath, one of the easiest, free, and with us all the time, ways to regain focus, decrease stress and connect us back to the moment at hand.
We can’t live without, it happens automatically, yet we can also choose to pay attention to the breath, and control it.
So, why not give it a try-no one will even notice:
- Start by just paying attention to your natural breath
- Start breathing in and out through your nose if you aren’t already
- Inhale for 4 counts – 1,2,3,4
- Exhale for 4 counts – 1,2,3,4
- Inhale for 5 counts – 1,2,3,4,5
- Exhale for 5 counts – 1,2,3,4,5
- Inhale for 6 Counts – 1,2,3,4,5,6
- Exhale for 6 counts – 1,2,3,4,5,6
- Repeat three more times
How do you feel ?