The Power of Breath
Have you ever been upset and a close friend reminded you to breathe? Do you find yourself holding your breath during a yoga class when the teacher says to the students, “Make sure you’re breathing?” Is breathing something you just take for granted?
Many of us never even think about breathing as the body does it automatically, although if you have breathing issues or a stuffed up nose, then you realize how important it is to be able to inhale and exhale air. In fact, be grateful that your Higher Source has gifted you with the breath of life.
Take a Pause and Just Breathe
Instead of reacting to a situation, take a time out, and do some deep breathing. Let’s use the example of Anna in two different scenarios.
Anna observed her boyfriend, Tom, at a restaurant eating lunch with a beautiful woman.
Anna is filled with rage! She reacts by: storming over to the table, screams at Tom, insults the woman with rude remarks, and is thrown out of the restaurant.
Anna is filled with rage, but takes a moment to do deep breathing, and feels calmer. As she is walking over to Tom’s table, she notices that the woman has a certain resemblance to Tom. Tom is pleased to see Anna as he introduces his sister to her.
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This example may seem extreme to you, yet it happens far too often! Why? Because when a person is consumed with rage, sadness, or fear; their breathing may become shallow, while less oxygen is being processed through the brain, which could cause fuzzy thinking.
These following two paragraphs from my book “Personal Growth Affirmations” explains how to test for shallow breathing and the benefits of deeply inhaling and exhaling.
“When you’re too busy to pay attention to how you breathe, most likely you’re doing shallow breathing instead of inhaling and exhaling deeply. When you inhale and exhale deeply you’re bringing life-giving air to your entire body and exhaling what is no longer needed. Other benefits of breathing deeply are: stress reduction, release of negative emotions, aid in digestion, reduction of wrinkles, reduced pain, and assistance in keeping the human body healthy.
“To test how you are breathing, put your hand on your diaphragm to observe how it lowers when you inhale, and the way it expands when you exhale. If the abdominal area doesn’t move much that’s a sign of shallow breathing. Now, notice if you breathe through your nose or mouth. Nostril breathing filters the air, regulates the amount of air the body needs, prevents dry mouth, plus reduces snoring.”
Allow yourself time to become comfortable observing the way you breathe, as you would when learning anything new. Affirmations can assist in this process. Think to yourself or say out loud – I am breathing deeply. If you find affirmations too awkward, listen to the song “Just Breathe” by Anna Nalick.
Pamela Cummins is a relationship expert who teaches you how to empower yourself to empower your relationships. She is the author of four books, including Psychic Wisdom on Love and Relationships.