Great to have you back on my blog, and if you are new here welcome, I’m Paula. I help you live life on purpose mindfully to achieve success and happiness for your mind, body, and soul. So read till the end, and we will do together a short exercise that will help you with mindful breathing, and remember to subscribe, Like and share this blog.
When I am anxious or nervous, I tend to ‘hold’ my breath. I don’t know why I just do.
Or I often breathe shallowly. I was feeling often getting tired and dropping off to sleep during the day. Even when I had a great night, sleep dropping off in the day persisted. I knew I had to do something about it, so I decided to be mindful of the situation.
I began to be in the present moment and noticed my breathing throughout the day. It’s didn’t take long for me to realize that I was holding my breath during times of stress or shallow breathing. I also noticed that after these episodes of holding my breath, I would suddenly feel acutely tired. It was then I realized what was actually going on- I was doing this to myself!
Therefore, I continued to be mindful and began to create the well- habit of noticing my breathing throughout the day and then deliberately breathing deeply.
Since then, I rarely felt drowsy during the day. Instead, when I catch myself holding my breath or shallow breathing, I stop- and take several deep breaths and continue to breathe with ‘all’ of my lung capacity. I had to learn how to correctly breathe for health, and calm.
To remind me to deep breathe, I have stickers in my planner and elsewhere that say in bold letters
If you don’t breathe, you’ll die- simple. But, equally, breathing incorrectly can reduce your life span and wellbeing. It’s something you just don’t think about; breathing is a necessity of life that usually occurs automatically from birth.
Correct Breathing and Health
With each breath, blood cells receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a waste product that’s carried back through your body and exhaled, purifying you. So breathing does more than keep you alive. Improper breathing can upset the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange and contribute to anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue, and other physical and emotional disturbances. When people are anxious, they tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest, like I did, so let’s look at all the types of breathing.
Shallow breathing is called thoracic or chest breathing, which causes a disconnect in the body’s oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, resulting in increased heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension, and other physical sensations. These symptoms occur because your blood is not being properly oxygenated. This type of breathing is what most people do, and learning the new habit of correct breathing can challenging.
The goal is to create the habit of diaphragmatic or deep breathing. Deep breathing stimulates the part of your nervous system responsible for regulating heartbeat, blood flow, breathing, and digestion. When you feel stressed, deep breathing helps you avoid the “fight-or-flight” response. Instead, it will make you feel alert yet calm, ready to handle anything.
This is the one you want to learn today and maintain, When I trained as a nurse, I learned that the easiest way to determine your breathing pattern is to put one hand on your upper abdomen near the waist and the other in the middle of your chest.
As you breathe, notice which hand raises the most. If you’re breathing correctly, your abdomen should expand and contract with each breath, and the hand on it should raise the most.
If you can stop and pause, it’s vital to be aware of these differences during stressful times.
Here is a short exercise that will help you with mindful breathing
Mindful breathing The primary goal of mindful breathing is simply a calm, nonjudging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them. If you are new to Mindfulness, I have a link down below outlining that for you. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on your breathing and bringing your attention to the present. This is done without allowing your mind to drift off to the past or future – Just be………. be in the now.
Now, Choose a calming focus, which may include a sound, the positive word “peace” for example, or the phrase “Just breathe” to repeat silently as you inhale or exhale. You may want to focus on an object or candle to help you focus now.
(picture of a candle)
- Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your spine reasonably straight.
- Bring your attention to your breathing.
- When you notice your mind has drifted, take a deep breath and gently return your attention to the present.
- Enjoy the feeling of the air passing in and out of your lungs.
- Notice how it feels in your nasal passages.
- Notice how alert your mind feels.
- Notice the sounds around you……
- Notice your mind becoming more alert.
- You don’t have to follow those thoughts or feelings, don’t judge yourself for having them or analyze them in any way. It’s okay for the thoughts to be there. Just notice those thoughts and let them drift on by, bringing your attention back to your breathing. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing.
Be careful not to hyperventilate…
- Imagine that you have a balloon in your tummy. Every time you breathe in, the balloon inflates. Each time you breathe out, the balloon deflates. Notice the sensations in your abdomen as the balloon inflates and deflates. Your abdomen rises with the in-breath and falls with the out-breath.
To learn more about Mindfulness and managing stress, head over to Udemy for my Course-…..The Mindfulness Stress Relief Master Class.
The link is below for you.
Also, My books are available on Amazon and soon be available to buy on my website; the link is for you below.
And remember to subscribe, like, and share this article and comment- I would love to hear if you and how you got on with Mindfulness breathing.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog. Please come back here as I post regularly. Within the next few months, I will be starting a YouTube channel about personal growth and lifestyle design through mindful living.
Check out my menu bar above; there, you’ll find the online courses about mindfulness masterclass that will help you begin your mindfulness journey.
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Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog postxx
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