How learning to Breathe changed my life

When we are in the womb, we beathe water. When we are born we breathe air.

No one teaches us how to breathe. It is an automatic skill since birth and we rarely think about it until winter flu or spring allergies kick in. But breathing has an intense effect in our whole system, not only to keep us alive but also to keep us balanced.

I always suffered from extreme anxiety and stress, which I have always related to worries, sensitive emotional nature and hormones. Truth is that even when I was medicated, that deep anxious feeling always popped up. I thought I was broken, that this could be from a deep long lasting depression and even because life wasn’t going as I pleased.

Until one day I met a Chi Kung Master who told me my problem wasn’t Me, it wasn’t my emotional nature or even depression. My problem was that I didn’t know how to Breathe. There is a difference in Breathing and Knowing how to breathe.

My anxiety was also a mirror of my control mechanism. The problem isn’t wanting to be in control of my life, the problem is that I wasn’t controlling the right things in my life, such as my most basic Body functions, my Breath.

This is how I learned the concept of conscious breathing:

  1. Stop and analyse Breathing habits – to understand the right way to breathe, I needed to understand first what I was doing wrong. I was breathing in and out through my mouth so quickly that my lungs barely filled with air and I was already throwing it out.
  2. Stop and Analyse Thinking habits – how do things run through your mind? Do you allow thoughts coming in and out and then react to them? Do you believe everything that runs through your mind?

Breathing right is absolutely essential for nurturing a healthy body and mind. That’s because it affects your nervous system, which is in contact with every cell in your body. Which means that how you breathe has a direct impact on all your organs, your immune system, your memory, your digestion, your sleep and even your level of anxiety and stress.

Learning to breathe properly isn’t hard, and it’s something you can be mindful of throughout the day by noticing when your breathing is shallow and taking a few moments to inhale deeply and exhale fully.

1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable, quiet place. This can even be at your desk at work or anywhere you can find space for a short interlude of mindful concentration.

2. Breathe in slowly through your nose to the count of five, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise. Expand your abdomen fully.

3. Pause for one second.

4. Breathe out slowly through your nose or mouth to the count of six, allowing your lungs to empty completely and your abdomen to contract.

The aim is to breathe deeply in and out five times per minute and do it for 10 to 20 minutes a day. You can also split it into two breathing sessions.

Most important thing of all is enjoying what you are doing and believing it is the best for you.

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