A teacher once told me that those of us who live in the Western world are referred to as ‘the land of the shallow breathers’ by those living in the East.
And in this 24 / 7 world in which we live, we often pay little or no thought to our breath from the moment we wake until we go to bed.
Have you ever reached the end of the day and felt like you hadn’t taken a proper deep breath all day? When life is very busy it can often feel like there is literally no time to breathe.
When we breathe a quick and shallow breath, this can cause our heart rate to speed up which sometimes creates an excited and anxious feeling.
When we take time to breathe more slowly and deeply, it can help to lessen the stress response allowing the body to relax, and it also enables more oxygen to reach the logical thinking brain.
Take a moment to check in with your breath, and practise slowing it down to see how it makes you feel. You could set an hourly chime to remind you that it’s time to take a few deep breaths, or you could adopt a breathing exercise where you count to 4 as you slowly breathe in through the nose, and count to 4 as you slowly breathe out through the mouth.
Next time life gets too much, try and remember to just breathe.