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Take a Breath

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Take a Breath…

That’s it. Nice and slow. Long and deep.

Is that breath different from the ones you took before clicking into this post? I’ll bet it is.  Most of us don’t realize how shallow our breaths actually are, until we focus on taking a deep breath. You’d think we all would automatically breathe the way we need, but over time, for a variety of physiological reasons and learned behaviors, we just develop a shallow breathing pattern.

Nice deep breath again, please. In through your nostrils. Can you feel your lungs now? Do you sense your diaphragm’s movement? What does the air feel like passing through your nose? I’ll bet it feels good.

There are many benefits to proper breathing. And reasons to let go of improper breathing.

“Breathing incorrectly can produce tension, exhaustion and vocal strain, interfere with athletic activity and encourage aches and illnesses,” says Nancy Zi, a Glendale, Calif.-based breathing expert and author of the book and video set, “The Art of Breathing.” Breathe correctly, however, and you can “melt away tension and stress, improve energy or simply relax and unwind.” — Via Discovery Health(DH)

The DH article also informs us that “breathing oxygenates every cell of your body, from your brain to your vital organs. Without sufficient oxygen, your body becomes more susceptible to health problems.”

Now, there are lots of tips, tricks, and how-to’s for developing proper breathing techniques that you can search from experts across the web. The biggest thing is to not make this too difficult. It should come as natural as, well, breathing.

My suggestion is to not worry about how long or how often you are going to focus on your breathing. Just do it. Right now your attunement to breathing has, most likely, already made it better. I think that is the trick. Pick something you do on a regular basis throughout the day and begin to associate it with deeper breathing. It could be as simple as choosing to focus your attention on breathing when you visit the restroom, log in to Facebook, send a text message, view a commercial, when you wake up, when you are irritated with your significant other, etc. Whatever you do several times a day, that’s the one for you. Feel free to leave your own suggestions or success tips.

What I’ve found is that as soon as you have the intention to breathe better and take that first deep breath, the body enjoys the feeling and rewards/benefits and therefore continues the pattern until you become distracted, stressed, bored, sedentary, etc., again. For example, my breathing today was very shallow (and my mood was way funky and my motivation to do anything was…meh). However, since I began writing this post, my breathing has taken a nice, regular, deep rhythm. I can note the difference without being required to think about it or force or change anything about my air intake. What about you? Is your breathing different while you read this?

I checked out some blogs that had detailed info on breathing and I think the post “18 Benefits of Deep Breathing” at One Powerful Word is extremely useful for you. Just a few of the benefits listed there are –

  • Relieving emotional problems
  • Relief of pain
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Assisting in weight control

I would also add that deep breathing can:

  • Diffuse anger in the moment (great tip for children, too)
  • Provide focus for your thoughts, which can benefit creativity and career tasks
  • Assist you in better parenting or relationship techniques! (deep breaths reduce tension and frustration, leading to happier and better ways to handle the things that bother us.)

You don’t have to be a yoga addict, zen seeker, or meditation master to want or achieve good breathing. You just have to believe in the benefits and give it a little jump-start until it becomes natural.

Simply Put – Breathing is essential for life; Deep breathing is essential for a longer, healthier life.

Breathing Relieves Emotional Problems
Breathing will help clear uneasy feelings out of your body.5. Breathing Relieves Pain. – See more at: http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2010/10/18-benefits-of-deep-breathing-and-how.html#sthash.wp7MOXlJ.dpuf
Breathing Relieves Emotional Problems
Breathing will help clear uneasy feelings out of your body.5. Breathing Relieves Pain. – See more at: http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2010/10/18-benefits-of-deep-breathing-and-how.html#sthash.wp7MOXlJ.dpuf
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Being in the Moment

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Gautama Siddharta

It’s been a while since I put out a post. I felt stuck in some ways, having not attended as many “for good” events as I have in the past. This meant not being part of as many inspiring things to share with you. And then, I felt a bit guilty that happened.

It’s busy – with kids off in the summer, working on the next book, and running a home-based office while trying to give both work and family the attention they need and deserve. Some days I do this balancing act better than others. More often than not, I find thoughts from both ends of the spectrum distract me and that both suffer a little. Or, if they don’t, then I suffer working late into the night to catch up on things.

Recently I started focusing attention on myself. I haven’t felt that I’m doing my best as either a mom or as a consultant. And the writing? Even when I would sit to work on the one thing that brings me the most joy and relaxation, I couldn’t find where the character wanted to go next. I’ve scrapped several chapters – more than once – trying to get there. Eventually it occurred to me that I needed more meditation to aid the process (especially since the character will need this too).

So, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

And it’s wonderful.

Of the multitude of positive outcomes I’ve received (being led to go back to the chiropractor and to buy one the books my former intuitive development teacher wrote, and to journal more, and many others)  by being more consistent and thoughtful in my meditation exercises, the one lesson I’m embracing is being in the moment.

Instead of worrying about what got done, what should have gotten done, or what shouldn’t have been done (or sometimes said) and instead of wondering what or how tomorrow is going to be, I’ve become really centered on being present in the moment.

And being truly connected to the exact moment in space and time you’re in can cure a lot of issues.

Ever been “in” the room with your kids but not really involved in what they are doing? I noticed I was doing that after my children started becoming very clingy and… noisy, talkative, edgy, agitated,and/or annoyed with one another.  But, tonight there was none of that. I attribute it to being not only “in the moment,” but also being “in their moment.”

I was completely in their company. And it was FUN. We built a great Lego house and made “fancy” pasta and meatballs (which was just good ol’ pasta and meatballs served in some pretty glass bowls – what, mom? No plates??) We then grabbed some items we’re donating, headed outside and my two youngest got to use the hose… and dish soap. When they moved on to cleaning their little house, they were playing so nicely in tandem and neither of them needed me anymore. By being more involved with them, they actually ended up needing me less.

And, when they came back to my moment, they were cuddly, not clingy. Why, they even remembered their manners and had more patience with each other.

Being in the moment is more than just occupying space and spending some time together. Your heart, mind, body, and soul are present and connected to the task or people you are with.  The satisfaction that comes from being this way is immense.

In the end, being in the moment with myself (meditating) and being in the moment with those around me encouraged returning to the blog, brought clarity on a few new ideas for a client, and helped developed the plot I’m working on.  Plus, it required less energy and caused less stress than all the previous hours, days, and weeks spent worrying and concentrating on any of these issues.

Simply Put – Breathe in, believe in, and be in the moment.