Saturday, June 27, 2015
Take a minute, now while you're reading this, to take a breath. Slowly into your stomach. Your lungs extend down about to your navel, so to fill them with air you expand your stomach. This type of breathing is different than how we usually breathe. What I call Relaxation Breathing (more formally called diaphragmatic breathing), fills your lungs causing them to expand. Breathe slowly and deeply into your stomach. You push your belly out when you inhale, and then flatten it as you exhale (pushing the air out out of your lungs). This type of breathing forces your body to relax.
I do this as often as possible, because I, like most people don't usually use our lungs much when we breathe. I recommend it to people whenever I can. It helps counteract the effects of stress. I mean, it slows down your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, gets more oxygen to your brain, and generally improves your health. This Relaxation Breathing helps you control anxiety (and anxiety attacks), get to sleep, manage your anger better, improve focus and concentration, get rid of headaches and helps fix the symptoms of some of those more serious stress related ailments (including obsessive thinking, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, hypertension, pain, ADHD, and more).
It seems to me to be one of the simplest things to do to improve your health, and your life. But you have to practice it. I know you breathe all the time (hopefully), but daily stress causes us to restrict our breathing. Notice how an infant breathes when asleep, as if their whole body is expanding and contracting. This is how we all started out. Try it whenever you can. It's one of those easy things like drinking water (to clean out body toxins) and walking (exercise) that there really is no excuse for not doing. Go ahead, BREATHE. And if you happen to yawn afterwards, that's your body thanking you!
Here is a video demonstration: