Start paying attention to the way you breathe: Are you breathing deeply enough?
Most of us do not breathe deeply; this fast-paced life has created a nation full of shallow breathers.
Shallow breathing adversely affected my health and incapacitated me in life. As a young person, I did not realize it was my breathing that caused my frequent stomach aches. During my teens I was treated for my upset stomach with little yellow pills . The pain–just like my shallow breathing–grew worse when I became stressed.
Learning how to breathe into my belly changed my life! You can read below my whole story and the many ways it can help you.
1. Respiratory System Works Better
Respiratory difficulties such as asthma, bronchitis and even chest pain can subside.
2. Digestive System Does Its Job
What I have learned through my health-coaching is that constipation is very common and is often due to shallow breathing. When people learn to breathe into their lower abdomen they begin to have regular bowel movements right away.
Breathing into the gut massages the internal organs to function well. It calms the emotions which directly affects the digestion system. There are other ways to improve digestion but this is an easy one.
3. Lymph System Works Well
Increases circulation of lymphatic fluid which speeds recovery after illnesses.
4. Circulation System Moves
Increases oxygen to the heart.
Blood circulates, relieving congestion throughout the body.
There is a flow of oxygen to the brain and eyes.
5. Immune System has More Energy
Helps tissues to regenerate and heal.
Creates more energy for the body to heal and detoxify.
6. Nervous System is Calmer
Anxiety can be reversed by deep-breathing habits.
You may start to see balance in the two sides of the brain.
7. Muscular and Structurally you Move
When you breathe easier you move easier.
Reduces muscular tension.
Increases flexibility and strength of joints.
8. Cleansing Systems Work Better
Excess fluids are eliminated through the breath.
Stress on organs is lessened, allowing the body to naturally cleanse.
9. Mentally Present
Mental observation and concentration is improved.
Greater productivity and learning.
Better decision making.
10. Physical Appearance is Better
Wrinkles are less from improved circulation.
Breathing helps create beautiful skin at any age.
11. Emotionally Feel Better
Breathing deeply relaxes the body, reducing feelings of stress.
Releases endorphins, natural painkillers that create a natural highs and easy sleep.
Creates more awareness and self-love leading to a healthier life.
Self-love can help to have greater compassion for others.
Sexual enjoyment is increased by being more present with your partner and breathing well increases intensity of an orgasm. It really is a natural aphrodisiac.
Intuition increases when you’re relaxed.
My Story – How Breathing Changed My Life Forever
One week in the 70′s I found myself in a very stressful situation that caused so much stomach pain I was forced to walk around bent over. I could not stand upright due to the pain and was not breathing deeply but did not realize it. It became so bad I was hospitalized and given Demerol which took away the pain and of course made me feel high. Especially since I was in the midst of 70’s culture–I tolerated the pain-squelching high. But, even back then, I was all about being natural so I did not want to put chemicals into my body.
I left the hospital with those same little yellow pills I had taken in my teens. I knew I had to do something because I did not want to be taking those pills in order to live–but what?
Relaxing seemed like a step in the right direction, so I enrolled in a yoga class a friend was teaching. This is when I learned how to breathe. Every morning, I would do yoga, and every day I would practice breathing into my belly while lying on my bed. It was important to completely focus on this activity since I wasn’t accustomed to breathing this way. Whenever I noticed the stomach pain returning I would lie down and practice breathing. Later I would practice belly breathing whenever I was sitting around, when quietly walking and any time I remembered during the day. Naturally, I found myself breathing into my belly consistently. It’s not a noticeable deep breathing. I just naturally breathing into my whole body gently.
Most of us do not learn to breathe properly; we unconsciously live off of shallow breathing. Knowing how to breathe and relax is a skill that has served me well for many years, and I urge everyone to learn it.
How to Breathe Your Way to Optimum Health
1. Laugh More.
Laughter really is the best medicine’ for health.
When we laugh, the amount of air we take in increases and the muscles in our chest loosen. Most of us have laughed so hard that we gasp for air and say “please stop making me laugh!” Find a laughter group and club or yoga that is based on laughter.
2. Improve Your Air Quality.
Breathing more doesn’t do you any good if the air is toxic. Here are Quick Tip to Improve Air Quality.
3. Practice learning how to breathe
Most people I have worked with do not know how to breathe into their belly. There are all sorts of complicated lessons on breathing but really, it does not have to be that difficult. After all, babies do this naturally; it isn’t rocket science. What we want to do is get back to breathing the way we did as babies.
a. Diana’s Method: Here is my own method for learning how to breath more with your belly.
b. 3 Powerful Yogi/chi-gong Breathing Exercises for improved health.