The breath is always with us and it is the thread that connects all moments in our lives. We can live for days without food or water but deprive us of breath and we die in minutes. In view of this is, it is quite incredible how little attention or importance we give the breath and breathing correctly. Proper breathing brings vital oxygen to the blood and all parts of the body nourishing and providing vital energy. The breath can be a barometer at any moment. Each breath has a flow and rhythm and as we bring awareness to breathing, we start to notice how the breath changes our mood and our state of mind can be reflected in our breath. When we are stressed, anxious, fearful, our breath can feel rapid, shallow, tight and restricted. When we feel calm, our breath can feel slow, deep and full. Equally you can control your breath to bring about changes in your mood when you practice breathing exercises.
The breath can be an anchor to ground us in the present moment, as you become aware of the sensations of breathing, the quality of the breath. Did you know that you breathe approx. 21 6000 breaths per day, and so properly attended to, the breath is an opportunity to relax and let go of tension.
Breath in and silently say “Calm”
Breath out and silently say “Smiling”
Breath in and silently say “Present”
Breath out and say “Now”
Proper breathing is one of the most effective mechanisms we have to release tension in the body, energise us and calm and settle the mind. Appreciate your breath.
Tina Gilbert- Mindfulness Association Assistant Tutor