Last month I talked about how movement is game changing when it comes to mitigating stress. You can use it as a tool to not only reset in the moment but also bring longevity to your life. Well, I’ve got another trick up my sleeve that’ll make just as big, if not an even bigger difference than that… breathing.
Believe it or not, oxygen is something that themajority of us are malnourished in. I know this seems counterintuitive but as we all age we tend to migrate toward vertical breathing (using only the small space at top of our lungs) vs the more optimal belly breathing, (think the big rise and gentle fall of baby bellies and even your pets!). In this belly breath, your diaphragm plays an important role in allowing more O2 in, and has the strength to push the CO2 out creating more available space for fresh oxygen. With more oxygen we have more energy, better sleep, higher metabolisms and even our hormones are more balanced.
Here are ways to help you harness your breath:
- While sitting upright in a chair gently fill your hands with your expanding belly, while keeping your shoulders down, then exhale with control in the way you would blow out your birthday candles. Not only will this help you groove a new breathing pattern, but you will strengthen your diaphragm doing so.
- Be more mindful while speaking on the phone of how you’re using your air. Slow down your speak allowing breath to come and go more naturally vs “pushing” your words in order to create more volume or even greater pace. And trust me, if the person cares about what you have to say, they won’t rush you or talk over you.
Take one day, even one conversation at a time and belly breathing will become just as second nature to you as walking— you just need to give your body a little time to remember.
This is my favorite book on breathing especially if you or a family member has had COVID!