I thought I would write a little about breathing. You probably give very little thought to it as it’s an automatic reflex. But knowing a little about it and how to use it can be very beneficial. As Hugh Ross (Canadian astrophysicist,) said, “An adult human can last 40 days without food, a week without any sleep, three days without water, but only five minutes without air. Yet nothing is more taken for granted than the air we breathe. However, not just any air will do – it must be exquisitely designed to meet our needs. Too little oxygen in the atmosphere will kill us, as will too much”.

When we are stressed, anxious, frightened or angry, your breathing becomes low and fast. Your breath will come from higher up in your chest. When you are more relaxed, breathing will be slower and deeper and come more from your stomach area.

Deep breathing is good for us in many way. And being mindful or paying attention to our breathing can be used to change how our minds and bodies are reacting to a situation. Deep breathing will help you to stay calm or return to feeling calm and relaxed in a stressful situations. Other benefits include pain relief, increased energy, lowered blood pressure, improved circulation and a clearer mind.

I am going to outline a couple of breathing techniques that we can all (including children) benefit from. The first is balloon and candle breathing which involves slow, full breathing in and out to relax the body and mind.

  • Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs crossed. Or if you are sitting in a chair, put your feet flat on the floor.
  • Breathe in deeply through your nose. Filling your lungs like a balloon.
  • Imagine a birthday cake with all its candles lit. Blow them out with a strong constant breath through your mouth.
  • Repeat for a minute.

The next technique is called Breathe in, bubbles out. It’s a great way to slow down your breathing and calm yourself.

  • Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs.
  • Hold your breath for a couple of seconds.
  • Imagine blowing bubbles with a bubble wand / stick. Blow slowly and steadily out of your mouth.
  • Repeat this three to five times.

Many people find these techniques very useful in their everyday lives. Being aware of how you are breathing can inform you about how your body is reacting to a situation. You can then use these methods to help calm yourself or clear you mind.

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