Did you know the average person doesn’t breathe correctly? Can you imagine the effect of exercising the muscles of your body incorrectly 28,000 times per day! Is it any wonder we are a nation suffering with endless aches and pains.
This month we want to share with you some simple, effective breathing techniques you can implement into your daily lives….
A lot of us live in a mad rush most of our day, hyped up and running on adrenalin. Feeling wired but stressed out with an underlying fatigue. A fatigue that is trying to tell you to slow down, to allow your body to recover and feel more balanced and rejuvenated. For most us, we ignore it, then fight it, the stress builds up and eventually manifests itself into a cold or flu, anything that will force you to slow down.
This is a downward spiral. So why am I telling you all this? What is the answer?
SLOW DOWN AND BREATHE
Take a moment to sit up straight, place both feet on the floor pull your shoulders back, extend your neck and head as if its trying to reach the ceiling, close your eyes and take three deep, long breaths. Notice where you breathe into, often people will breathe into their lungs or top half of the ribcage. If thats you then read on….
Breathing, a mechanical, unconscious thing we do all the time. The body being a system of systems is dependant on everything working harmoniously together.
For the respiratory system to work it is supported by other systems of the body, in turn the other systems are dependant on an efficient respiratory system to continue functioning. When we are not breathing correctly, we are in effect putting enormous stress on the other systems. The body receives this as added stress, add all the other stresses of daily living and you’ve got yourself an overstressed body that lives with bad posture, tense and tight muscles, poor digestion, pot belly, headaches etc.
As we continue living with the stimulants such as coffee to get us through the day the stress builds to overload, the body WILL find an exit point for this at some time. Internally this stress causes a whole myriad of hormones to come into play resulting in weight gain, lowered immune system, depression, energy blocks, digestive disorders which, left unresolved will finally result in disease.
Today, I am suggesting three different approaches you can use easily, try them all and find one that works for you. Aim to do these simple exercises at least twice a day.
Start your day as you mean to go on…..
Set your alarm half an hour earlier and use the extra time to wake up, stretch and then sit or lie quietly for 15 mins. Concentrate on relaxing your body and breathing in deeply, right down to your stomach, breathe into the space and then let it go, let it become the only thing you focus on, in and out, in and out, expanding your stomach as you breathe in. Allow the day to greet you, feel the calmness all around you and luxuriate in the peace.
This is a great one to do outside (weather permitting – of course!). It helps to start the day in a calming manner, after some practise you will notice your day will continue like that.
Try in the evening too, perhaps just before going to bed, breathe in the day and all its events and breathe them back out, let it all go. Use the time to really relax all your muscles and feel yourself melting into the floor.
Warning: You will find that your quality of sleep will be greatly improved, side effects can be a deeper and more relaxed nights sleep!
On the job….
Just after lunch before continuing your day, or just before you leave your place of work, take an extra 5 -15 minutes to sit quietly and gather your thoughts. Ponder any problems, arrange and tidy your work space, make to-do lists. By preparing yourself mentally before you continue your day or ending it, allows you to clear your head and straighten your thoughts, bringing better clarity, vision and concentration which increases productivity . We often have so many things going on, we literally cannot think straight, causing tension, headaches and aching muscles to name but a few! Invest in those few extra minutes and see yourself the difference it can make.
Out and About….
Most of us travel somewhere during the day, whether it be to work, running errands, shopping etc. Take that time, the transit time, as a time out. Enjoy your journey, breathe it in. If you are in a traffic jam, sitting on a tube, bus or train, relax and use that extra time to breathe. We are not in control of everything and so why fight it, why allow ourselves to get stressed over a little delay. The world will not stop turning if you are a few minutes late. Travelling this way, taking it all in your stride, going with the flow allows you to arrive at your destination in a calm, positive and happy state, not stressed out, bad tempered and no fun to be around.
Hopefully, you will find at least one of the above to be useful if not all of them at various times throughout the day, practise regularly and in just a short amount of time you will notice, not only a huge difference in your mood and attitude but in all others around you.
Sharon Cassius is the Wellness Director at Atmanjai and can be contacted there for consultations. Sharon@atmanjai.com