Breathing Can Bring You Inner Peace
By Pamela Shenk, CHt
If you're feeling stressed out about trying to lose weight (or any other problem for that matter), just taking a deep breath may be a simple solution that gives you instant relief. Breathing is something we all do 24 hours a day and we usually don’t give it much thought. But, try this: when you’re feeling anxious or worried about things, you can take a breath to anchor you to the present moment, rather than dwell on the past or even the future.
If you’ve ever attended Yoga classes, you know that breath work is incorporated into the practice. The breath is called Prana or vital force. Depending on what you are doing at any given moment, your body needs different amounts of oxygen. Think about the times you’ve been scared, what is the first thing you do… you hold your breath. Yet, when you’re relaxing, your breath is calm.
Your thoughts have a lot to do with your breath. When you’re stressed or upset, you tend to take rapid shallow breaths or even hold your breath for periods of time. When you’re calm, you most likely take deeper breaths, with less frequency.
I’m sure you’ve heard of people that might feel faint and someone will be telling them to breathe, get more oxygen in your system. Well, when you take the time to focus on your breath, you’ll find that it is very relaxing. Often, I will teach my clients a technique where they can breathe into the count of five or six (whatever is comfortable), hold for the count of five or six, and exhale to the count of five or six. I suggest they do this a minimum of five or six times in a row. It is a great way to fall back to sleep on those sleepless nights. It is also a terrific way to release unwanted stress.
While this exercise is a wonderful way to increase your oxygen level, it can also make you a little light-headed. So, the key is to make sure you’re seated in a comfortable chair or perhaps on your sofa or bed while doing it. Try it, you just may find that your breathing has the power to heal your emotional stress and give you inner peace.
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