Breathe Your Way to Good Health

Breathing blog

Breathing is something we all do automatically. Believe it or not, the way we breathe can affect our mental and physical wellbeing.

When we are babies, we take deep and relaxing breaths from our belly. As we get older, stress changes the way we breathe. In a stressful situation, the body operates on the ‘fight or flight’ mode to whatever that is troubling us.

Taking quick, sharp breaths while dealing with stress means we only use the top third of our lungs. As a result, a poor exchange of oxygen and CO2 in the bloodstream takes place. This can lead to sleeping difficulties, panic attacks, dizziness and extreme fatigue. The lack of oxygen can have a negative impact on our cells and vital organs.

Breathing properly can:
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Slow the ageing process
  • Lower blood sugar, and the risk of diabetes
  • Eliminate free radicals from the body and improve cellular functions
  • Improve mental focus and clarity

To breathe properly:

Apply the belly-breathing technique as follows:

  • Use your diaphragm – the large sheet-like muscle that lies at the bottom of the chest cavity.
  • Sit comfortably or lie on your back on the floor. Place your one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your abdomen.
  • When you inhale and exhale, the hand on your chest should stay still. The hand on your belly should move up and down. If your top hand is moving, your breathing is too shallow. Focus on expanding the belly when you inhale and the belly should go down on an out-breath.
  • Keep practicing until you feel comfortable using your diaphragm for breathing.
  • You may close your eyes and feel the breaths.
  • Slow your breathing down to 8 to 10 cycles (1 inhale & 1 exhale = 1 cycle) per minute while using the diaphragm. Breathe smoothly and slowly.

Take time out throughout the day to breathe. Practice regularly and soon you’ll get into the habit of “belly-breathing”, creating more calmness to your everyday life.

Love & peace.