The Hidden Benefits of Breathing

How often do you remind your children or your friends to take a big, deep breath before making a decision?  Now, how often do you actually take that advice for yourself?  With all the things you have to fit into that tiny little 24 hours, it’s not likely that deep breathing is one of them.  When you’re in a rush to drop the kids off at the sitter and get to work, the last thing that you want to do is sit still and take calming breaths.  Not to mention the fact that deep breathing may have the opposite effect and induce large amounts of anxiety when you’re running late.

What you may not know are the many benefits to taking deep breaths every day.  Making sure you are taking care of yourself through breathing is important because how can you take care of everyone else if you aren’t taking care of you?  Plus, the world isn’t going to end if you stop and (literally) smell the roses.

Breathing is Cleansing

Human beings take in oxygen to sustain life and then breathe out chemicals that can be harmful to the body.  Why would holding your breath ever be conducive to your health if you aren’t bringing in the good and breathing out the bad?

Cleanses are all the rage, but many of us fail to see the benefits in a breathing cleanse.  Empower your body to heal itself with a serious of conscious, focused breaths every few hours during your day.  You can even add a visual element to your deep breathing by seeing yourself breathing in positive energy and exhaling negative energy.

Breathing is Calming

Your toddler spends several looooong minutes every day in timeout to help him calm down, but does Mom ever do the same thing?  Do you take a second to breathe deeply before you respond to an aggravating coworker?

The fact is that breathing does help to calm your nerves and talk you down off the ledge.  Being aware of your breath allows you to focus your emotions and attentions for a few minutes before reacting.  Difficult emotions often bring out hollow, rasping breaths that only encourage more aggravation and anxiety.

Breathing is Conductive

Believe it or not, breathing deeply can send healing into certain parts of your body and help to alleviate pain better than any pain reliever.  Breathing helps you to release tension in your muscles, and empowers your mind to support the release of tension.  Think back to your last massage.  Did the masseuse ask you to breathe deep as tense muscles were smoothed?  That’s because breathing greatly reduce the tension in your muscles.

Breathing is Connective

Breathing deep allows you to connect the body, mind and the spirit to ensure that all your thoughts and desires are in tune with each other.  Through the process of inhaling and exhaling, the body is relaxed and the mind is steadied.  Try sitting with your hands on your knees, close your eyes for several minutes and simply breathe.  We guarantee you’ll find pleasure in small things you don’t normally hear, and you’ll feel more connected to your body after a stressful day.

Of all the things you love that make you happy, you’ll always have to go without some of them.  It’s a sad fact of life for any human over the age of one.  The good news is that breath isn’t one of them.  No matter where you are or how you feel, you can always take a few minutes to center your mind and body and breathe through your pain or feelings.