We all know how to breathe. It's something that we don't even have to think about, it just happens naturally and automatically. Yet we often develop unhealthy habits with our breathing without even being aware of it. We modify and often restrict our breathing habitually. Stress, increased responsibilities, life style pace, and environmental factors have all played a role in changing our breathing habits.
Studies have also shown that when we focus or concentrate on something that our breathing becomes very slow or even gets suspended. As we concentrate our muscles become tense. The muscles in our arms, neck and chest contract. The muscles that control inhalation clamp down and restrict both inhalation and exhalation. Our breaths become shorter and shorter. Over time our system becomes frozen into a certain posture, position and rhythm. We become fatigued from the decreased circulation of oxygen within our blood because we have almost stopped breathing.
Breathing is the only means of supplying our bodies with oxygen which is crucial for our health and vitality. Oxygen is the most vital nutrient in our bodies. It is essential for the proper functioning of the brain, nerves, glands, organs and cells. Most of our energy requirements come, not from food, but from the air we breathe. We can survive for weeks without food, for days without water, but without oxygen we will die within a few minutes.
If the brain does not get an adequate supply of oxygen, vital organs in the body will start to degrade. The brain itself requires more oxygen than any other organ, if it doesn't receive enough the result is mental sluggishness, negative thoughts, depression, disease and illness.
Breathing is also one of the ways to get rid of waste products and toxins from our body. One of the major secrets of energy and rejuvenation is a purified blood stream. The quickest and most effective way to purify the blood stream is by taking in extra supplies of oxygen from the air that we breathe. By purifying the blood stream, every part of the body benefits, as well as the mind.
We typically are not taking in enough oxygen and we are not eliminating sufficient carbon dioxide. As a result, our bodies are oxygen starved, and a toxic build-up occurs. Every cell in the body requires oxygen. Our level of overall vitality is a byproduct of the health of all the cells. The importance of maintaining health is directly related to the quality of our breathing.
So, what are some ways that we can make sure that our bodies are not oxygen starved? I think plain old awareness is half the battle. Once I started being more aware of my breath, being present and paying attention to how I am breathing, I started to shift my habit of shallow breathing to taking slower, deeper, fuller breaths. Yoga and meditation are great tools to help cope with stress and improve constricted breathing patterns. Laughing and exercise are other awesome ways to improve your breathing. When you are under stress, feeling angry or frustrated, or in deep concentration, make sure you take regular breaks. get up walk around, stretch, bring awareness to your breathing.
I know that I feel better when I am breathing more fully. I feel more alive, more alert, happier and relaxed when I am getting adequate supplies of oxygen into my body. Do you pay attention to your breathing? Have you noticed times when you are breathing shallow? How does it make you feel? do you regularly practice breathing techniques? I would love to hear your feedback. Leave me a comment or send me an email.