Deep Breathing

I used to work with an amazing woman. She was a retired flight attendant to took up a job with kids because it made her happy. One day, we were sitting and working together when she told me that I needed to breathe deeper. She explained to me that in her travels, she studied Eastern medicine in China and that breathing more deeply helped to keep us healthy.

I had never paid much attention to my breathing before that, but I soon realized how shallow of a breath I had. So ever since, I try to be mindful about pausing to breathe, and I have definitely felt a difference.

Deep breathing helps to:

  • Tame stress. Deep breathing has made the biggest difference in my stress levels. And I’m sure you’ve heard it before, to take a deep breath when you feel stressed or angry or overwhelmed.
  • Relaxes the body. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is basically our bodies healing and repairing.
  • Detox. Our bodies use the lymphatic system to clear out toxins. Breathing, in addition to exercise, help this process out.
  • Digest better. Aside from calming our bodies, which helps with digestion, deep breathing physically massages our gut. A true deep breath lowers the diaphragm into our abdomen, aiding in circulation and oxygenating our organs.
  • Relieve pain. When we take a deep breath, we release endorphins into our bloodstream, which are natural pain relievers.
  • Think clearly. A few deep breaths get much needed oxygen to our brain. Add in the clarity-induced calm that it helps with too, and it’s easier to think.

Slow and deep breathing is super easy and can be done anywhere: sitting in traffic, working at a desk, while exercising, during yoga, in the shower, while walking, etc. Here’s how to start deep breathing:

  1. Breath in through your nose, slowly.
  2. Use your diaphragm to take air into your lungs, pushing down towards your belly.
  3. Relax your body to get that oxygen everywhere.
  4. Release the breath slowly through your mouth.

That’s it!

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