The Importance of The breath

| Karen Murphy | | Leave a Comment

Often times, people will tell those having a hard time to “just breathe.” It sounds silly – as they’re already breathing – but conscious breathing is a bit different than the involuntary movements that keep you alive. Becoming aware of your breathing helps you increase mindfulness while decreasing anxiety.

Still, this type of breathing isn’t as easy as it sounds: it’s not just about your lungs, but your brain too. And a lot of us have a hard time telling our brains to be quiet. But, there are a few things you can do to help yourself, quite literally, breathe a little easier. Consider:

1) Start with a Basic Breath:

“Equal Breathing” is the act of balancing your breath. To begin, you inhale for four seconds and then exhale for four (exhale through your nose as it adds more resistance). Once you’ve got four seconds down, move onto six or eight or ten. The point of this exercise is to calm the nervous system, which helps reduce acute and chronic stress.

2) Work in Abdominal Breathing:

The goal of abdominal breathing is to take six to ten very deep and very slow breaths from your abdomen (not only your lungs). It reduces your heart rate and your blood pressure too.

3) Alternate nostril breathing: This type of breathing is common in yoga and works to unite the right side with the left side of the brain. It’s best done during meditation – assume the position and hold your right thumb over your right nostril so you can inhale through your left one. When you reach the peak of the inhalation, switch nostrils. Continue with this pattern.

A note on Meditation

Deep breathing exercises can be done in conjunction or apart from meditation, but many people find meditation easier when they have a breath to focus on. Simply put, they can’t turn their minds off otherwise.

Whatever the reason you choose to meditate, know that it takes some getting used to. Even with breathing exercises, it might not be something you’re able to do with ease. But don’t give up – just be consistent.

Set aside a time each morning (or afternoon or evening) to meditate. Make sure it’s when you can focus on yourself and not on your work or your children. If you don’t take to it, try and try again – you’ll find yourself in the moment eventually.

And your health will thank you. According to Forbes magazine, meditation helps your brain grow. This is especially true for older people – so it’s never too late to get in touch with the om!

MEET KAREN

Hiya, I’m Karen, energy therapist and mind body expert for dynamic and ambitious women who are struggling with anxiety. I help them to get to the root cause of their anxiety so they can take back control other thoughts and be the calm and confident woman they want to be.
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