How Do You Breathe?
For most people, breathing is just an automatic function that keeps humans alive, which is true because if you stop breathing, how can you be alive, right?
Breathing is a steady flow that brings the needed oxygen into the body and expels carbon dioxide. However, unlike digestion or beating of the heart, breathing is a function humans can consciously control.
Do you remember taking deep breaths while experiencing panic attacks? Or being out of breath after climbing several flights of steps and taking a few slow and deep breaths until your breathing normalized?
These instances prove that you can do something about your breathing to cope with whatever you are experiencing. This means that you can also control it for a healthier body. Focusing on breathing will result in more beneficial mental and emotional states while helping manage depression, stress, anxiety, and other emotions.
Most people take breathing for granted (maybe because the body does that naturally). You use your breath in many ways: you breathe deeply when you are laughing aloud, you hyperventilate when you feel panic or fear, and you grasp when you cry.
However, many people live day-to-day with shallow and unconscious breaths – which is not a good recipe for good health. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that they are not breathing right. Some doctors say that the breathing pattern of many people indicates stress and anxiety most of the time.
When you breathe this way, you are sending a message to your nervous system that you are indeed stressed, so it becomes a cycle.
To live a happier, calmer life. Focusing on your breathing is an important factor in the practice yoga, meditation, or mindfulness therapy.
If You’re Always Worried or Anxious
Anxiety, if left untreated, can lead to more serious medical conditions, like heart problems. Any variation of breathing exercises can help aid in the treatment of anxiety. However, there is one breathing technique that may help soothe not just your muscles and your body, but also your brainwaves.
Lie down in a comfortable position, with your back straight on the mat (or bed).
Now begin to bend both of your knees towards your upper body. When your knees are almost near your chin, hug your legs gently, then relax both your feet, and ankles. Gently soften your stance and release your shoulders on the floor. Your back should stay relaxed. Then slowly lower your chin to lengthen the back of your neck. Keep your eyes closed.
While you’re hugging your legs, focus on your breathing. Feel the slow rise and fall of your body as you gently inhale and exhale deeply. While you’re inhaling, allow your stomach and ribs to rise towards the direction of the thighs, before sinking back down as you exhale. Hold this position for a few seconds.
Now, gently roll your body slightly to your right, and then to your left. You are using the floor to gently massage your back. Don’t force your movements, keep your motions as relaxed, soft, and rhythmic as possible.
Next, start to coordinate the rhythm of your rocking motion with your breathing. When you inhale, slowly roll to your right; and when you exhale, roll your body back to the center. Inhale, and now slowly roll your body to your left, then exhale as you go back to starting position.
Continue with these rolling and rocking movements for 5 to 10 minutes, or until you feel your body and mind are starting to calm down. Be aware of your breathing and don’t force your movements.
If You Want to Get Rid of Any Negative Emotion
When your thoughts are full of negativity, it affects how your attitude and behavior will go. However, it is quite difficult to maintain your positivity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as there will always be distractions, situations, and experiences that initiate negative thinking.
Initially, it will be hard to replace negative thoughts (and emotions) with positive ones, but it is possible.
Negative thoughts can only consume you when you begin to believe them. The key is finding a balance between positive and negative emotions.
This powerful technique called the Qigong practice will help release any negativity in your life and welcome more positivity.
1. Stand with your feet firmly planted on the floor, a little wider than hip-width distance. Position your legs parallel to your feet, with your toes pointing forward. Keep your abdomen relaxed. Place your arms by your sides.
2. When you inhale, breathe through the length of your spine, then release down your arms and shoulders, as both your palms are turned up. Then, take several steady breaths.
3. When you inhale next, gently raise your arms, and gather all the negative thoughts, emotions, feelings, and beliefs that you have long been holding back.
4. On your next exhalation, turn your palms down, while lowering your arms in front, and gently bending your knees. As you do this, release all the negative feelings you gathered.
5. Make two repetitions more.
6. Now, inhale and gently raise your arms and gather all the positive emotions, feelings, and beliefs that you can find.
7. Exhale and gently lower your arms, and let those positivity flow into your whole being. Feel the sensation deep into your inner core.
8. Repeat the above, three more times.
9. End by breathing and standing still for a few seconds.
Tension build-up is inevitable, especially if you have a lot of things on your mind – keeping the household, excelling in a career, nurturing relationships, or juggling work and school. But through all these, all you can do is breathe your way out of negativity and you’ll be living a happy and stress-free life.