We often go through our day and forget to consciously breathe. We take for granted that our bodies breathe naturally without us ever having to think about it. Most commonly, we are shallow breathers. We either pause a lot, especially under stress and "under-breathe" or we don't breathe deeply enough. At http://www.mercurynews.com/2012/06/27/better-breathing-can-mean-better-health/ this article explains the importance of breathing deeply and how it can improve our health, for example; reduce stress & anxiety, improve concentration, improve athletic ability, etc.
The article reports, "The good news, experts say, is that it’s easy to retrain ourselves to breathe more effectively most of the time, the way we do when relaxed. And there’s no equipment needed, no memberships — we’ve got all the tools with us all the time." This is very true! During my meditation group sessions or one on one meditation sessions, I teach individuals the importance deep breathing. When we become consciously aware of our breathing, we are able to take the time to retrain ourselves to breathe more deeply. I recall during a group meditation, many individuals expressed how relaxed and lighter they felt from the very basic exercise of "Inhale through the nose, and exhale through the mouth. Repeat for 5 - 7 times. "
Try this exercise.
1. Ask yourself, "how do I feel right now?"
2. Become consciously aware of how you are breathing.
3. Get comfortable. You may sit, stand or even lie down.
4. Close your eyes. Relax.
5. Take a deep breath (Inhale through the nose)
6. Exhale (through the mouth)
7. Repeat 5 - 7 times (inhale through the nose & exhale through the mouth)
8. Check in with yourself. "How do I feel right now?"
9. If you are feeling tense, anxious, or stressed, repeat the exercise again. Or if you are feeling so good and you want to repeat, GO FOR IT! :)
Use this exercise any time! It is very simple & very beneficial!