When we were born, we knew how to breathe properly. In the time of the very first breath, we knew what to do.
We might have been frightened, shocked or stressed. We might have panicked and our automated reaction was to breathe quickly to our chests. Through the years this became our new habit. But if we do so for a long time period, we start to believe this is normal.
As you sit at your computer today, notice what your breath is performing. Notice what your shoulders do and how your stomach is feeling. Now sit up straight, roll your shoulders down and back. Release any tension in your gut. Check out with your own breath. Are you breathing deeply in your stomach? This new habit will take effort to keep at first. Keep checking in with your breath throughout the day and finally any tightness in your stomach will decrease.
Shallow breathing means that our organs don’t receive the same amount of oxygen as they do during heavy breathing. Your intestines are full of fresh oxygen. If you lay the alveoli out flat (the air sacks in the lungs), they would be the size of a 1 bedroom apartment which is about 450 square feet. Imagine how much more effective and healthy our bodies will be if we breathed properly!
During shallow breathing, your sympathetic nervous system goes into a state of anxiety. This informs your body that you’re stressed and releases the associated stress hormones.
Imagine the difference to our health, vitality and energy if we were to breathe deeply regular. Imagine the positive effect on our performance. Exercising helps your body to perform at its best. It relieves tension, stress and anxiety. I find that if my breathing is fast and shallow, then my head is over active. When I consciously control my breathing and aim for deep inhales and long exhales, my mind becomes more calm and I’m less stressed.
Check how you’re breathing now.