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Fundamentals of Just Breathing

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Breathing is a fundamental to our lives are eating and sleeping. But most of us don’t eat as well as we should, or sleep as well as we would like. And with out realizing it most of us don’t really breathe in the best way.

If there is stress or anxiety in our lives, as there always is to a least some extent, then there are several types of breathing techniques that can help us feel calmer and more collected. Best of all, these are relatively simple and don’t take much time at all.

Some people advice breathing exercises when we first get up in the morning, to help us get in tune for the day. Other people practice breathing exercises before bed, feeling that is help sleep and reduces insomnia. There is no bad time for exercise, and no reason to limit ourselves to just once per day.

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We should always breathe in through our nose. While it is possible to breathe in through the mouth, this has been linked to lower levels of nitric oxide and lower oxygen in our bodies. Nasal breathing helps mental clarity and physical wellbeing.

Sit and Breathe – Sit upright, relax your head and shoulders, and breathe through your nose. Hold this for a few seconds, and then breathe out slowly through your pursed lips. We can do this anywhere where we don’t have to pay too much attention to our surroundings – riding the train, on our lunch break. Apparently humming when we breathe out will further increase nitric oxide.

Diaphragm Breathing – Lie flat on your back with your knees slightly bent and your feet drawn towards your body. Raise your head on a pillow if possible. Put one hand on your chest, the other on your stomach. Inhale deeply through your nose. Feel your stomach expand. Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then breathe out slowly through the mouth.

Lion’s Breath – Sit on the floor and put your hands on your knees. Open your mouth and push out the tongue. Then breathe in slowly through the nose, keeping your eyes wide open. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then breathe out through the mouth whilst making an ‘aah’ sound.

Resonant Breathing – Breathe exactly five times per minute. Do this by breathing in for five seconds, holding for five seconds, and then breathing out for five seconds. Do this for several minutes.

An old adage is to always ‘sharpen the saw’. This means it is easier to cut a tree if we sharpen the saw first. And it might help to re-sharpen the saw at the halfway point. Our lives are the same. We achieve more with less effort if we keep ourselves healthy. Massage, breathing exercises, healthy eating, all help us stay mentally and physically healthy, so we are in a better frame of mind to deal with life’s challenges.

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Regular massage and healthy living habits allow us to get more done, and enjoy the lives we have.


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