Breathing is something that happens so naturally, we are mostly unaware of it’s rhythmic pattern that provides the foundation of our lives.
The miracle of breath is the very key to living - and if you do it right, of performing at your highest potential. It’s that simple.
Breath is the single most underused resource you have sitting in your lap right now. OK... not actually in your lap, but literally just above your belt. And it's right there for the taking.
Got an ache or pain? Breathe.
Pissed at your spouse? Breathe.
Feel under the weather? Breathe.
Inhale the future, exhale the past; you’ll tap into the calming nervous system. You’ll alkalise your blood and decrease the action of cortisol, the stress hormone. This simple basic practice is SO far-reaching. Mindful breathing will quickly decrease inflammation, calm digestive upset, level high blood pressure and fight depression and anxiety.
In your breathing lies your connection to yourself. Breathing connects you to your intuition and wisdom into your highest self. The more you breathe, the closer you’ll get to what makes you happy.
Here are three easy steps to better breathing. Take five minutes anytime during the day and change your life. Feeling worn out? Take five. Overwhelmed? Take five. Just do it.
Four Square Breathing
The Four Square Breathing technique is used by first responders when faced with a fight-or-flight response to danger. It heightens performance and concentration while providing powerful stress relief. Take slow deep breaths with breath holds and return your breathing to its normal rhythm during times of stress.
Here are the four easy steps:
Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
Hold your breath while counting to four. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling, avoid clamping your mouth closed.
Begin to slowly exhale for four seconds.
Repeat 4x or until calm returns.
I love this one for the immediate hit of brain energy. Don’t chase the coffee cart or dive into the sugary snacks (... and why is this a thing? Sugar = ZERO benefit! Anyway, I digress…)
Start a new office trend! Come on... you know you are the cool one. Get over yourself and nose breathe baby, nose breathe!
This technique allows the five lobes of the lungs to expand pumping a massive charge of oxygen into your brain cells. Bellows Breathing is also associated with decreased inflammation and reduced physical and emotional pain.
Here’s a quick how to:
Close your eyes and breathe in and out deeply through your nose 30 times as quickly as you can.
Then for another 30 seconds, with your eyes closed, relax into your breath and allow the oxygen integration to occur.
One minute in and you will get a hit of long standing energy better than any espresso. Favoloso!
Alternate nostril breathing
Feeling frazzled or overwhelmed? Unable to handle the rambling lists circling in your head? Alternative Nose Breathing will quickly balance and ground you. It’s my top choice for the chronically stressed out!
This simple technique evokes a connection between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It pumps oxygen into the brain allowing for greater stillness and a deeper experience of calm. And it really works.
And here it is:
Inhale through right nostril with left nostril closed
Exhale through left nostril with right nostril closed
Inhale and exhale with long, slow deep breaths
Till next time, Angie xo