The Importance of Breathing - Guest Post by Linda Lang
We all know it’s important to breathe... After all, the consequences are obvious! No breath – no life. But it is the quality of the breath that is so important. Most people in today’s society breathe very shallow. When only the upper portions of the lungs are filled with air on the inhalation, we tend to be in our minds more, over-thinking or feeling pressured. We feel less grounded and more easily stressed. And there’s less oxygen supplied to our organs and cells.
Taking ‘full deep breaths’ means that your belly moves as you breathe—not just up and down but sideways as well. Your upper chest will also rise and fall with the same rhythm. If you have the opportunity to watch a baby breathe, you will know what I mean. Once upon a time, you breathed that way too... before your thoughts and emotions got in the way.
The benefits of deep breathing are vast. Your whole system will have more oxygen. More toxins will be excreted on your exhalation. You will have more energy, better digestion, healthier cells, stronger heart, improved immunity, a more nourished nervous system, and healthier blood. Your organs will get a massage with each breath. And that’s just on the physical level!
Emotionally you will handle stress better because the diaphragm assists you to more fully process emotion. You will carry less emotional baggage and feel calmer and more peaceful. When we are stressed, we breathe very shallow, sometimes even holding our breath, which leaves us with a build up of unresolved emotions, tension and pressure.
When we consistently breathe deeply, our mind stays clearer and more focused. We are more centered and grounded, and more present to what is happening right now... not busy thinking about the past or what might (or should) happen in the future. Simply bringing your full awareness to your breath for a few minutes can bring you more clarity and calmness.
Breathing deeply often brings more awareness of gut reactions and intuition. You become better able to know what feels right – or not. This breath offers you a better sense of yourself as you become more congruent. You begin to know what you “feel like” and therefore able to more easily determine what resonates with you and what doesn’t.
If you are a chronic shallow breather, it may take some effort to develop the habit of fully using your diaphragm. You may have to consciously retrain your body to breathe this most natural way that somehow got lost.
Focus on your breath right now. How fully are you inhaling? Change your body's position to see if that allows you to breathe deeper. Stand tall or sit up straight. Does it make a difference? I find it especially easy to do this deep rhythmic breathing when I am lying down, especially on my side.
Partner with your unconscious by asking your body to breathe as you did when a baby. Pay attention as you sit for a minute. Did your breathing shift? Your body already knows how to breathe this way. In fact, if you are getting good quality sleep, that deep healing delta sleep, your body should be deep breathing during these periods.
Whenever you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or any other intense emotion, just stop for a moment and remember to breathe deeply! Simply placing your hand on your abdomen with conscious intent to deepen the breath can help.
The power of breath has been used for release work, expanding the heart center, spiritual connection, pain relief and having babies. Breath is not only a necessity of life, but also a gift – when you harness its power to transform.
Isn’t it time you breathe more fully?
Linda Lang is an intuitive coach and healer, guiding you to release patterns, beliefs and emotions that no longer support you, and helping you to step more fully into authentically being your True Self.
Visit www.thoughtchange.com for more information.