It’s all in the breath

It’s easy to get caught up in life when there are pressures from all directions, and especially when for most of us we’re winging it from day to day as we balance and acclimatise to our new normals; different activities, different work and/or home situations, changes in shopping or social habits; the list can go on and on. Before you know it, hours, days, or even weeks have whipped by seemingly in the blink of an eye, and yet we’re exhausted from it all. More tired than normal, bone-weary fatigued – have you noticed that? I’ve certainly found that I’ve needed to put more self-care strategies in place in order to feel as good and energised as normal.

A breathing reset is so easy to achieve and has profound effects. Spending as little 3 minutes on mindful breathing a day can energize you to continue with your task or day; flooding your body with oxygen and circulating it around; switching off from all those thoughts; to do lists/jobs; giving our bodies and minds a rest to continue while literally reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels; that’s a win in my book.

It sounds silly to question how you’re breathing, especially when it’s a natural thing we do approximately 20.000 times a day, How could we get it wrong?! But there are actually lots of different ways to breathe and how we breathe has an impact on things like pain levels, headaches, pelvic floor function, even the way we stand or sit. Are you breathing optimally? Can you do better? Have a look at the short video below where I show you how to achieve 360 breathing effectively, which will optimise your physical and mental wellbeing.

When is breathing not just breathing?

Despite the fact that breathing is an everyday and second nature thing, we can maximise such a simple activity for our own gains and use it to calm down an amped up, alert or on-edge system.

Take note of how your breath feels as you inhale deeply into your abdomen; feel your chest swell and the belly and ribs move out to accommodate greater lung expansion.

Feel the breath being expelled as your breathe out, going that little bit further to forcibly exhale the last bit of air from your lungs. You could try to inhale for 4-6 seconds and exhale 5-7 seconds, repeating 3-4 times.

In doing so, we’re fully utilising our lung capacity, actively engaging our core and pelvic floor on the exhale and mobilising the thoracic spine, ribs and diaphragm- which in turn massages our digestive system. The whole process can reset our autonomic nervous system, moving out of that “fight or flight” mode, and calming feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. So many gains from such a simple and automatic activity that we usually take for granted!