Photo Credit: Public Domain
Published August 6, 2021
By Carmen Hunter [Founder of The Institute For Functional Health Coaching and contributor to the Tennessee Conservative] –
Sometimes it can be all we can do to even get supper on the table before 8:00 p.m., much less cook all of our meals and expect them to be healthy. The pressure we put on ourselves to make healthy meals, get to bed on time and exercise every day can be immense. It’s time to change our expectations of ourselves and take a deep breath.
The simplest things you can do for better health start with just that. Breathing. Did you know that you tend to take shorter and more shallow breaths in a stressed or anxious state of mind? You may believe that you are getting MORE oxygen when you are actually getting LESS oxygen into your cells.
There’s nothing more important than breathing healthy, fresh air to oxygenate our blood, detox our bodies (exhaling toxic carbon dioxide), and create a peaceful feeling within.
Unfortunately for many, the very act (and right) of breathing was compromised when the illegal mandate of masks became a “normal” part of people’s daily lives. There is nothing more vital to optimal health than the right to clean, fresh, toxin-free air.
The good news? It’s EASY and FREE to train yourself to take deeper breaths for better health.
A few side effects of shallow breathing (breathing that comes from the CHEST and not the abdomen):
- Tighter back, chest, and neck muscles.
- Increased anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Low Energy
- Higher blood pressure
- Constricted Muscles
- Higher toxic load in the body
How do you train yourself to breathe deeper? It’s very simple.
Try to take a few minutes a day to focus on your inhalation and exhalation. Simply inhale until you feel your belly fill full of air, hold your breath for 2-3 seconds and exhale slowly and deeply until all air is expelled. Repeat three times.
Learning to breathe this way will take a little bit of practice as we are so used to breathing by filling our chest with air and NOT our belly.
Set a timer and try to do this as many times a day as you can. Other good times to practice are when you get to a stoplight when waiting at an appointment, or even laying in bed to relax for sleep.
What are the benefits of learning how to breathe?
- Lower blood pressure
- Relieves stress
- Reduces pain
- Relaxes muscles
- Improved focus
- Relieves anxiety
- Increases exercise tolerance
- Improves heart function
- Reduces inflammation
- Detoxes the body
- Helps with weight loss
Fun Fact: We lose weight through an exhaled breath. For every ten pounds of fat lost in our bodies, eight and a half pounds of it comes out through the lungs. Most of it is carbon dioxide mixed with a bit of water vapor. The lungs are the weight-regulating system of our body.” (James Nestor Author of Breath)
This is just one of the many things we can do easily and inexpensively at home to start to have better health and less stress. Getting healthy is a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself grace to change one thing at a time. Starting with the breath just makes good sense.
About the Author:
Carmen Hunter is the founder of The Institute for Functional Health Coaching®, Carmen Hunter Health LLC and the creator of Education, Preparation & Action. She has over 11 years of experience in the wellness industry to include coaching hundreds of one-on-one clients, group training and teaching coaches and practitioners worldwide how to collaborate for better client outcomes and business success.
Find Carmen on Facebook and Twitter @functionalhealthcoaching and @shapereclaimedwithcarmen