How to Get a Piece of Peace in Your Life

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Breathe, Breathe, Breathe

Babies truly know how to breathe deeply. Somehow, when we gain the ability to use our brains for many tasks, we manage to turn off the natural ability to breathe. Many of us are shallow breathers or hold our breath throughout the day.

Deep breathing happens when you allow your belly to expand, letting the diaphragm drop which forces the lungs to fill. Full exhaling happens when you push your belly in, as if your navel were to meet your spine. Then the belly naturally pushes out and the diaphragm drops again and deep breathing repeats. It is essential to inhale in order to fully oxygenate your body and also to exhale in order fully release the toxins.

One other vital piece of information: when you hold your breath, you are telling your body that you are in a stressful situation. This is the "fight or flight" mode of survival. The moment you hold your breath, you have a window of 17 seconds to begin breathing again or else your brain will release adrenalin into your body which will last for an hour. The adrenalin keeps you feeling anxious or stressed.

Try to pay attention to your breathing and your mood. Do you hold your breath? Are you a shallow breather? Or do you breath like a baby?