Breathing is something that we all do because let’s face it, if we didn’t we wouldn’t need to think about who is taking care of us.
Seriously though it is something that we do from the moment we are born and yet how many of us pay attention to our breath? We do it unconsciously, so why would we? The reason is simple our breath is a great indicator of how we are feeling and it is also probably the quickest and most effective way to change our mood.
You don’t need to move from where you are, spend money or take more than a few moments to understand how you are breathing and what you need to change.
In an ideal world we should breathe from our abdomen and yet very few of us do. At best we may breathe from our mid chest region, at worst our upper chest. Just take a moment and notice where you are breathing from.
Our breathing responds to what we are thinking and the way that we are feeling. When we are busy and stressed our breathing becomes shallower and that really isn’t helpful. Taking shallow breaths uses far more energy and delivers far less oxygen to our cells than they need. Consequently we start to feel tired and some people even believe that we can begin to loose our memory.
Want to reverse this downward spiral, here’s my top tip for using your breath to calm down:
If your breathing becomes shallow take deeper ‘belly breaths’ and make your exhale (out-breath) double the length of your inhale (in- breath). For example if you breathe in for a count of three, breathe out for a count of six. Just a few breaths like this and you will feel calmer. If you are able to, breathe out from your nose rather than your mouth as this helps to create balance in the body.
If that helps and you’re feeling brave, why not try alternate nostril breathing (pranayama). It is something that I have learnt on my yoga journey and find really useful, although you may not want to try it when you’re in the office. If you’d like to give it a go here’s a video that may help https://youtu.be/Xbbr6Udg1UA
Please remember whilst you may not be in need of these ideas you may know a friend or colleague who is so please feel free to pass on this email and spread the word.