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the power of breathing

Health

THE POWER OF BREATHING

Today I want to talk about the Power of Breathing. Breathing, it is usually something we tend to just take for granted. However, there truly is power in breathing. Not only have the power of breathing, ‘pranayama’, been well-known for thousands of years through yoga, meditation and Chinese Medicine, but the Western medicine has also done studies now proving the benefits of deep breathing.

 

Have you ever paid attention to your breath during different times of your life?

Perhaps before doing something you are nervous about, fx a performance or before an exam. You feel those small, quick breaths and it can almost come to the point where you feel like you’re going to choke because of your own unsteady breath. If you have ever been in an exam situation, you might have felt the power of breathing. Have you ever tried to put your focus on your breath and tried to breathe more slowly, and then you started to feel more relaxed? I know I have certainly done this several times, and it always seems to help and calm me down.

If you feel stressed, it might be because you are not taking the time to really breath deep. If you are feeling stressed, try to take just a few seconds, perhaps just 10 breaths, and really deep breath and slow. Take a really deep breath and fill your lungs with air, and take 10 of these breaths – and feel the change in your body and mind.

 

Remember to breathe. It is after all the secret to life” – Gregory Maguire

 

When you breath shallow breaths, the lowest portion of the lungs never gets fully filled with air. This can make you feel short of breath and make you feel anxious. However, deep abdominal breathing fill your lungs up with oxygen – and this type of breathing slows your heartbeat and can lower or stabilise blood pressure (Harvard Health Publishing).

Deep breathing can

  • help lower blood pressure
  • help lower stress
  • help with digestive problems
  • help with insomnia
  • calm you down

 

Breathing right is unquestionably the single most important thing you can do to improve your life. It will help you to live a longer more energetic and stress-free life” – Dr. Sheldon Helder

 

How to do it?

You can fx try to every night before you go to bed, to take 10 deep breaths. You can also try to add meditation or yoga to your life, or just some conscious breathing every single day.
It seems like such a simple thing, yet we often forget about it. I know I do, I tend to not breathe really deep, but rather small breaths, or sometimes I just discover that I’m almost holding my breath, especially if I’m working on something. So I find it so important to get a more mindful practice, and really consciously make an effort to take some full, deep breaths for my own health.

 

So hereby, a little reminder – the next time you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or you just want to do something good for your health, slow down – sit still and take a couple of deep breaths. Fill your lungs up with fresh air, and focus on your breathing – it really does wonders!

References

TED Talk: Pranayama: Extend Your Life by Extending Your Breath – Jim Kambeitz
Take a Deep Breath – Harvard Health Publishing
The Power of Deep Breathing – Mindbodygreen
TED Talk: The Hidden Power in a Breath of Gratitude – Rory Ledbetter