Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Breathing, a precious gift that gives you life. How often do you take this precious gift for granted? How often do you sit slumped over in your chair or contorted in some way that restricts the air you take in?
Have you ever just stopped and taken a really deep breath in? One where you fill your lungs completely with air and your belly rises? One where you can physically feel your body tense up a bit because you can’t take in anymore air?
What about the exhale? Have you ever engaged in a long, slow exhale? The kind of exhale where you literally release every ounce of air that is in your body?
Ah, breathing! The precious gift that gives you life.
In the busyness of life, people forget to breath. I mean really breath. Not the shallow breaths you take daily as you move through life. I am talking about those really deep inhales and long, slow exhales. Those beautiful, cleansing breaths.
I am sure if you have every meditated or taken a yoga class you have engaged in this type of breathing. But how many of you do it on a daily basis? How many of you engage in mindful breathing? Mindful breathing is where you focus your attention on your breath, on the inhale and the exhale.
I first learned about the power of breath when I visited a chiropractor for an issue I was having. She shared with me how important it is to take time throughout the day and engage in some long, deep breaths. She also encouraged me to do it at night just before I went to sleep, to take three deep, long breaths in, and to slowly exhale all of the air. Let me tell you, doing that was more relaxing then taking a sleep aid.
I practiced this for several months. I got busy and forgot until earlier this week. I joined a 28 Days to Connection Challenge with One Idea Away. Click here if you’re interested in joining the challenge. It's not too late to join.
The first exercise was to connect with your breath. Or what I like to say is Just Breathe!
When you connect with your breath you become mindful (hence the mindful breathing term) of your breath.
Here is a brief explanation of how to Just Breathe!
Right where you are at (reading this blog post), take a moment and take a full and deliberate breath. Bring your focus to your inhale. Draw in a long and deep breath. Connect to the inhale. Connect to the air that draws into your body. Feel your lungs fill with air and your belly rise. Connect with how your body feels with this new air.
Connect to the brief pause you take at the top of your inhale.
Now begin to exhale. Release the air from your body slowly. Connect to the air that is leaving your body. Feel your chest and belly falling as the air leaves your body.
Now connect to the pause at the end of the exhale right before the natural inhale begins again.
If your mind begins to wander, don’t worry. You’re not doing anything wrong. This is very natural when you first start out. When you’ve noticed you drifted just bring your awareness back to your breath.
I would like to encourage you to take time throughout your day and Just Breathe! by incorporating this mindful breathing into your everyday life.
There are so many benefits to mindful breathing. I want to share a few of them with you.
1. Connecting to your breath gives you access to the present moment.
2. Connecting to your breath allows you to relax.
3. Connecting to your breath allows you to feel more grounded.
4. Connecting to your breath helps you get through a stressful situation and can reduce anxiety.
Here are some additional resources to help you Just Breathe!
Words of Encouragement
Find some time during your day to Just Breathe! and connect with your breath. It doesn’t have to be a big thing on your already long list of things to do. You can do it before you start a project or when you are sitting at a stop light, or maybe first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Try it! I promise you will like it.
I would love to hear what it feels like when you allow yourself to Just Breathe!
Share your thoughts and insights in the comments below.
Make today amazing!