Today’s tip for Amazingness:
When you are stressed out, crazy busy, overwhelmed or upset one of the first things people will tell you is “Just breathe”, usually our response is “DUH, I would if I weren’t so_____”, but it is exactly the advice we need. Just taking a breath helps relieve stress, center us, and helps us focus. Let’s look at proper breathing and then we will take a look at some of the proven benefits of deep breathing.
We all breathe, but most of us breathe through our upper chest and utilize only a portion of our lungs. This is shallow breathing and limits the diaphragm’s range of motion as well as preventing the lower part of the lungs from experiencing fully oxygenated air. A full breath is meant to allow the full intake of oxygen and full outtake of carbon dioxide. To breathe deeply takes a little practice. Start by standing, lying down and place your hands on your belly so that the fingers barely interlace. Next inhale through the nose and watch to see what your body does, you shoulders should not rise, but your belly should rise gently pulling your interlaced fingers apart. You may exhale through the mouth or nose; it is good to learn to breathe both ways. Practice taking 10 breaths this way and develop the habit of breathing more deeply or at least several times a day.
Why do I want to do this?
- Increases your energy level Oxygen coursing through your body is a great pick-me-up without the negative effects of caffeine or stimulants
- A Natural Painkiller The act of breathing deeply produces endorphins which are our bodies feel good, pain relieving gift! In addition to endorphins studies show that holding the breath when in pain is counter productive and breathing into the pain is more beneficial. Ladies, thank Lamaze!
- Relieves stress Breathing deeply will calm us and help the stress we feel disapate, helping us to focus
- Reminds us to slow down A few good breaths will help us “be present” and not miss the moment.
Deep Breathing also:
- Strengthens the immune system
- Helps with posture
- Aids in digestion
- Helps our red blood cells
- May help protect against inflammation
- Promotes better blood flow
- Releases toxins
- Can help reduce blood pressure
- Strengthens the Lungs
- Makes our heart stronger
- May help prevent colds and congestion or reduce the severity
- Improves our mood
- Up to 70% of our bodies toxins are eliminated through our lungs and breathing!
A note to mouth breathers. Mouth breathing can be harmful to your health and in some cases an indication of something more serious. If you are a mouth breather talk to your doctor about it. Mouth breathing can irritate the tonsils and adenoids, cause a greater build up of plaque on your teeth, and some studies show it may increase heart problems, exacerbate asthma, contribute to high blood pressure. It also leads to over breathing, deplete your carbon dioxide levels, effects sleep apnea, reduced blood circulation, and more. If you say “well, I breathe out of my mouth because I can’t breathe out of my nose!” that is part of the problem, mouth breathing can make us more congested! It is a cycle that needs to be broken. Plus, since it can make us over breathe, we become more dependent upon the feeling of mouth breathing.
In comparison nose breathing “increases circulation, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, slows the breathing rate and improves overall lung volumes ” Swift, Campbell, McKown 1988 Oronasal obstruction, lung volumes, and arterial oxygenation. Lancet 1, 73-75. Nose breathing also increases the moisture in the nose and the lets the hair in your nostrils do it’s job as a filter.
Try placing your tongue against the roof of your mouth, where the teeth meet the roof and holding it there to remind you to breathe through your nose.
Good news is that studies show that training yourself to breathe well during the day will cause you to breathe better while your are asleep!
So take a breath, breath deeply and enjoy the day!
So, how’s it going towards my personal goals to amazing?
For my Shaklee business Today starts the week of and it is a day of catching up and planning!
For my fitness goals I plan to spend as much of the day outside as possible and get in my 10,000 steps and I will of course Strip and Shake!
100 Days to Amazing! You can do amazing things.
I believe you can; you believe you can too!