Most times the world can weigh on our shoulders so heavily that we forget to do the most basic necessity that our minds and bodies need to function- we forget to breathe.
Yoga instructors remind us all the time about the importance of breathing, and we do a good job of being mindful of our breathing at that moment. However, once we leave the yoga mat and begin to face real-world problems at home or at work, the last thing we are thinking about is breathing. The only thing we are concerned with is how we are going to get over the hurdles and when is the next time we’ll get a piece of mind.
What we don’t realize is that we need to have a clear and focused mind in order to tackle these problems head on, but we can’t do that until we practice mindful breathing. According to a New York Times post, controlled breathing is needed to calm our nervous system which allows our brain to communicate with the many organs in our bodies. So practicing our breathing is important not only for our stress levels but also for our health and overall well-being. You can’t properly fix the problem in front of you if you aren’t taking care of yourself first.
I’ve researched breathing exercises, and I found the belly breathing exercise to be most helpful for me because you can do it lying down or sitting in a chair. To do this, you place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth allowing your stomach to push your hand out. As you exhale, your lips should be pursed, almost as if you are about to whistle. I would recommend doing this for a minimum of four minutes to allow your body to calm down.
The next time you are in a stressful situation, just stop and breathe. Don’t think about anything else except for your breathing. When you can feel yourself beginning to calm down, only then can you effectively begin to think about your next course of action.
“When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.”