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Wellness Journalism: A Breath of Fresh Air

Posted Jan 31 2010 12:09am

Breathing: Not as obvious as it seems.

Breathing sends oxygen to the cells and keeps you alive. But it is easy to take for granted. A body that gets more fresh air is relaxed, happier, and healthier! Incidentally, getting fresh air is less about spending your life on a mountain top and more about breathing into your stomach.

Although the act of breathing is automatic, for most of us, taking deep abdominal breaths does not come naturally. While we are thinking about this-that-and-the-other, immersed in the world, we generally breathe into our chests and without filling our lungs to capacity. This shallow breathing gives us enough oxygen to exist, but I would argue that it does not give us enough oxygen to grow and thrive.

Deep breathing for an inspired life…

Focused, abdominal breathing is one of the most important physical exercises you can do. It holds your attention within the body and the present moment, which is preferable to being wedged in some past or future dramatic presentation of the mind. Beyond consciously refreshing your mood, better breathing will also give you more energy, help the body eliminate waste, increase metabolism, give you a better night’s sleep, and improve circulation, muscle/joint health, and blood sugar levels.

To breathe into your stomach, inhale deeply and evenly through both nostrils. Imagine that you are gathering oxygen (and with it power, energy, love, courage, light, support, mojo, good vibrations, clarity, peace) directly from the atmosphere, right into your gut. Then, with your belly nice and full, exhale through the mouth...flushing carbon dioxide (and with it every toxic, tense thought or feeling within you) out into the world for recycling.






Concentrate on breathing deeply:
  • Whenever you feel anxious, afraid, nervous, sad, or angry.
  • For five minutes when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night.
  • While stretching, exercising, eating, and walking.
  • Before and after exams or quizzes.
  • Anytime you remember.

Don’t exhaust yourself. Use breath to reduce pollution in your internal environment!
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