Monday, November 8, 2010

Deep Breathing for a Healthy Life!

No matter what my clients are coming in for, I teach almost all of them the art of deep breathing. What...being taught how to breathe? I know, it sounds stupid. We've all been breathing longer then almost anything else we've done in life. However, very few of us breathe properly. I always say that this is one of the most healthy things you can do for yourself in the shortest amount of time. Throughout our daily lives we all experience stress. By using the deep breathing technique, we evoke a relaxation response within us, reducing tension, the level of stress hormones in our body, and increasing oxygen throughout our body.

So, here's how to do it.Find a quiet, non-stressful environment. Sit up straight, but relaxed. Close your eyes and place a hand on your stomach and a hand on your chest.
Normally when you breathe your shoulders move up and down. THIS IS INCORRECT. Your stomach should move in and out if you are breathing properly. As you breathe in slowly through your nose, your stomach should push out, as you exhale, your stomach should go back in (toward the direction of your backbone). Your hand should move out as you breathe in, and in as you breathe out. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Do each for a count of 8-10 seconds.
Remember in elementary school when you were learning basic addition, multiplication, etc... and you had to do those awful time tests? By doing them over and over again, it became so natural that most of us don't even need to think when adding 2+3 or 5+5 now. That's what practicing the art of deep breathing is. We need to practice it each day for it to become natural so we can use it in times of stress.
This is something you can do while sitting in class, in a meeting, at work, or when frustrated at your significant other, parents, or children.
Like I said, this is one of the most important things you could do for your health! And remember, in life we don't always get to choose what happens to us. We WILL encounter stress. But when we encounter those times, we get to choose how we respond, and deep breathing is a great way to choose a positive way to respond! 
Try setting a short among of time each day (5 minutes or so), or twice a day, to practice deep breathing. 


  1. Yup, I'm one of the people who would think this sounds silly.
    But I do yoga and Pilates, so I know it actually works. Breathing through stress reminds me that there's a physical world out there and that it's not just me and my sad/anxious/angry thoughts.

  2. A lot of people do not know how to breathe right. Thanks for sharing.

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