Conscious breathing your ‘go to’ life skill!

– by Bec Dudley

We unconsciously take between 17,280 and  23,040 breaths a day. Have you ever stopped  to notice your breathing pattern?

If the way you  breathe is out of balance, it can lead to negative  health consequences. Research shows that we often take short  shallow breaths.

We need to breathe from  our lower diaphragm, taking deep and slow  breaths. Breathing poorly while stressed affects  our health. By taking control of our breathing  we oxygenate our body more efficiently.  Some benefits of deep breathing are a slower  heartbeat, increased energy levels, and a calming  of the nervous system. 

Try this simple conscious deep breathing  exercise to help you feel more balanced and  centred Begin with a few slow, deep breaths. Each time  you breathe in; breathe all the way down into  your stomach. Breathe in slowly through your  nose, and feel your lungs expand with air and  diaphragm compress.

After drawing in a long  deep breath, allow your breath to flow back out  through your mouth and release any tension or  stress. Mentally repeat the word “relax” as you  breathe out. 

Try this now. Slowly draw in a deep breath.  Don’t rush, just gradually fill your lungs with  air, and when they are full, release that breath  completely. You should begin to feel relaxed. 

Your breath will dissolve tension just as easily as  warm water melts ice.  Breathe in again. When you are ready, release  the breath. Let it flood out naturally. Breathe  all the way out until your lungs are empty. Draw  in a third and final breath. Nice and deep.

Feel  yourself relaxing as you gradually release the  breath.  As you become self-aware notice when you are  feeling anxious or upset. Stop and mentally take  yourself through the above breathing exercise. 

This exercise can be done at anytime, anywhere,  and no one needs to know you are doing it. There  is no magic quick fix here, and like all newly  acquired life skills, you will need to practice  regularly for this to be habit forming. 

Till next month – stay happy, safe and well.