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Breathing into Positive Benefits

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We all know breathing is important, but did you know there are many positive health benefits to breathing deeply and slowly?

Breathing is probably something you don’t think about much. We breathe about 22,000-25,000 times a day. Our bodies are powered by breathing. Your lungs fuel your body with oxygen, which is our body’s life-sustaining gas. The job of our lungs is to breathe in air, then remove the oxygen and pass it through our bloodstream, where it’s carried off to the tissues and organs that allow us to walk, talk, and move (1)

But I bet you didn’t realize that you actually hold your breath involuntarily at times throughout the day or week? Start trying to be mindful more of your breathing and see when you might hold your breath at times during the day. It could be from concentrating hard, stressed or mad. Now pay attention to your natural breathing. Is it shallow, erratic, or irregular? Paying more attention to how you’re breathing can make a big impact on your stress levels.

Step in Breathing Practices. Focusing on practicing deep breathing or breathing exercises and/or meditation daily can help you feel calmer, centered, focused, and less anxious or irritable.

You might be surprised that it can even help reduce blood pressure. Ever notice if you are at a doctor’s office, your blood pressure might be higher than normal due to stress or anxiety of being there? Try doing some deep breathing exercises while waiting in the doctor’s office or before, as this will help control your blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, blood vessel tension, and the “fight-or-flight” response in stressful situations (2)

When you start practicing meditation breathing, it can help quiet the busy mind and also helps when your brain gets stuck in an unproductive thought loop and helps lengthens your attention span.

And it’s also a great tool for becoming more RESILIENT and enhances self-awareness which helps you become stronger and grow as a person along with being able to roll with life’s changes without skipping a beat.

This is something I practice with my clients a lot by incorporating meditation breathing or having them focus on breathing exercises while we are working on their mindset and healthy habits. 

There are a lot of breathing exercises and meditations you can practice, but the two most popular is to do deep breathing or body scans. These two are SIMPLE and nothing too out there. 

Your challenge is to try a breathing exercise or meditation EVERY DAY.

BASIC BREATHING MEDITATION

  • Sit comfortably on a stable surface – inside or outside. Even lay down if you feel more comfortable.
  • Relax your body to release any tension you are feeling.
  • Let your hands drop naturally to your lap and relax/soften your shoulders.
  • Drop your chin slightly and close your eyes.
  • Clear your mind of any racing thoughts, todos or worries, and just focus on your breath and the here and now.
  • Inhale S-L-O-W-L-Y through your nose for 4 counts. 
  • HOLD your breath for 4 counts. 
  • Exhale S-L-O-W-L-Y through your nose for 4 counts. (your mouth should be closed or slightly open)
  • Hold your breath for 4 counts.
  • Continue for a total of 4 TIMES through, focusing on your breath.

You can go a little more deeply into the breathing by switching up and practicing alternate nostril breathing, coherent breathing, lion breathing, tapping, and much more.

BODY SCAN MEDITATION

  • Sit comfortably on a stable surface – inside or outside. Even lay down if you feel more comfortable.
  • Relax your body to release any tension you are feeling.
  • Let your hands drop naturally to your lap and relax/soften your shoulders.
  • Drop your chin slightly and close your eyes.
  • Clear your mind of any racing thoughts, todos or worries, and just focus on your breath and the here and now.
  • Focus on your breathing. Notice the sensation of your breath filling and leaving your lungs as you inhale and exhale. Notice how you are breathing
  • Now move your attention to whatever part of the body you want to investigate. You can start scanning your body from bottom to top or wherever you might want to start.
  • Scan your entire body. Open your awareness to sensations of pain, tension, discomfort, or anything out of the ordinary.
  • If you notice your thoughts bouncing or wandering around, just let them pass and don’t hang on to them. And return your focus to your breathing.
  • As you are scanning, notice how you feel and where you might be holding your stress. If there’s any tightness, pain, or pressure, continue to breathe into any tension you’re feeling. This can help you release tension in your body now and also be more aware of it in the future 
  • Focus on that spot you are feeling stress, pain, or tension, and then visualize the pain, stress, discomfort, or tension leaving your body through your breath and evaporating into the air.
  • Move on when you feel ready to the next spot.
  • After you have scanned your entire body, continue with a few full deep breaths in and out. And relax your entire body.
  • Slowly release your focus and bring your attention back to your surroundings

You can find many great guided meditations to help you with your practice that are Free or low cost with many types to try. I also have meditations within my Wellness app I use in my Holistic Wellness coaching.

If you’re having a hard time getting into the meditation zone or sitting still practicing breathing, try doing a walking meditation. This is something I do and call my walking therapy.

Wear comfy shoes & leave your phone if you can.

Here’s how to do it:

Start walking at a comfortable pace, it doesn’t have to be a race. As you are walking, try doing the followings:

  • Spend 1 minute focusing on the feeling of your body moving
  • Take in a deep breath in and out.
  • Then 1 minute focusing on the air, wind, and sunlight on your skin. How great it feels
  • Take in a deep breath in and out.
  • Then 1 minute focusing on what you hear (birding chirping, etc)
  • Take in a deep breath in and out.
  • Then 1 minute focusing on what you see (explore the scenery and nature)
  • Take in a deep breath in and out.

The idea is to focus on very specific things so that you’re not focusing on your thoughts and instead on what you are doing and experiencing. This helps you be more mindful and able just to PAUSE.

Bottomline, is that focusing on your breathing by doing breathing exercises or meditation breathing can improve your mental, physical, and emotional health. It only takes a few minutes out of your day to reap the amazing benefits.

If you feel like you need help improving your mindset or healthy habits, I can HELP! Book a FREE Success Call TODAY to find out more or ask any questions!

Published by Erin Wheless Wellness

I am a passionate Health, Wellness, and Fitness Professional who thrives on helping and motivating others into a healthier way of life, improving their quality of life being in a more Zen state of mind, along with helping them obtain a stronger body and mind through a holistic approach with health, nutrition, habit, mindset, and fitness wrapped all in one excellent package. All of these elements work in perfect harmony. I believe in coaching the body and the mind from the inside out. I want to help them be the best version of themselves and want to help make a difference one small step at a time. Erin Wheless Wellness programs and coaching services are accessible, weight neutral, body-positive, age empowered, and all-inclusive. Healthy and Happy bodies come in different shapes and sizes.

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