Have you ever been in a situation where you were instructed to “just breathe”? Perhaps this occurred before you had an important interview, or test or performance? Breathing is vital to us, yet often times we take it for granted or forget that we are actually breathing.
With that I wanted to address the value of breath today and ways in which our breath can effect us.
Breathing or inhalation and exhalation is an autonomic process in our bodies, in other words, we don’t have to consciously ask our bodies to breath, it’s a “built in” feature. As we breath we inhale oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and other gases present in the air. As we exhale our breathe primarily we are letting our carbon dioxide. That science lesson is meant to highlight the chemical reaction that takes place in our beautifully complicated bodies, as well recognize the importance of taking effective breaths. An ineffective breath is called paradoxical breathing, which is when you inhale with the chest muscles and exhale from the abdomen. Effective breathing is the breath or “natural breath” occurs when you take breaths from the abdomen. Take these steps to facilitate deep breathing:
Breath in through your nose slowly and evenly and guide air to your abdomen. As you do so, experience your stomach region expanding and inflating. After holding this breath for a second or two, release it with the same pace in which you drew in.
Practice of this conscious breath will allow the natural breath to occur more regularly.
This technique is useful for Mindful breathing that is taught in Distress Tolerance of DBT. The technique may benefit anyone experiencing anxiety, stress, tension, or anyone that simply wants to experience the natural breath.
The breath is endless, and you may breathe in ease, well being and peace, breathe out tension, worry and pain.
Have a mindful day!