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Breathing is a basic reflex - So why are we often so poor at it?

Breathing we all do it a lot, it’s crazy to think we haven’t mastered it yet….?

But you perhaps haven’t.

Good day Linkedin I hope you’ve started Tuesday right and you’re feeling in flow. If not maybe a quick bout of box breathing could get you back to a better state of being. Often by lunchtime we have been harangued, harassed, and hastened into a breathing pattern that is likely not going to keep us energised and clear all the way through to downing tools in the evening.

So how does this happen, how does something we do about 672,768,000 times in our lifespan (80 years normal living) become something we quite regularly get wrong?

Well in truth we don’t knowingly get it wrong so much as we don’t understand that our unconscious systems are reacting and shifting our biology leading to sub-standard unconscious responses that with just a little awareness we could gain mastery of with relative ease.

For example say you’ve just had a near miss accident out on the road and you get that overwhelming jolt of adrenalin. You may instantly feel an impact on blood sugar, maybe some shakes and mild hyperventilation this is Adrenalin and cortisol at play. All of a sudden your breathing has changed. Not all of us can naturally return to a more balanced state after such an event without mindful intervention. Arguably very few of us.

Just as the mind effects breathing, breathing effects the mind. So stop & focus on nasal and diaphragmatic breathing for 4 minutes or more, using a technique such as box breathing and watch your Heart rate drop while your body returns to a more relaxed state. So if you’ve been at work and the boss has thrown a curve ball BREATHE whatever you do next will go better with an ANS that is not on fire.

Improve your Breath Balance

A dose of Yoga at in the am could be a great way to improve your oxygen base and get the day on track leaving you refreshed and invigorated. Ensuring positive patterns of breathing in the morning can have a huge impact on our energy levels throughout the day. Long term the benefits will aggregate profoundly.

Wim Hof gives breathing singular accolade in terms of our ability to transcend our potential and perform great feats. The Ayurvedics use Pranayama the Buddhist Tummo, breath-work has been a key study for mystics and medics for thousands of years. Oxygen is the ultimate nutrient without it we die pretty quick but early studies in Wim work have shown powerful breathing techniques could in fact reduce inflammation. In particular controlled studies, his students have been able to show/create a reduction in the proliferation of Escherichia coli within the body. Yes they reduced the proliferation of an endotoxin, by breathing. Don't let that take your breath away, but this is cutting edge stuff.

In one single day we take around 24000 breaths each breath acts as a pump a stimulating pulsing wave throughout our body. This wave influences every organ right out to our skin, think how quick our pallor changes in the absence of adequate oxygen. Anything you should do 24000 times a day has the power to influence how you feel in and out, mind and body. Next time your stressed, in pain, angry tired or stuffed with food pay close attention to how deep and full your breathing is. Then contemplate the impact throughout the day if a few or all of these things occur. Observing one or all of these will likely show you, you are breathing inefficiently. How important can this be……?

Poor oxygenation, due to stress, overeating, a lack of physical activity or poor breathing during sleep = insert sad emoticon, impaired cognition, impaired motor skill, increased blood pressure, sub-optimal digestion to name a few. Breathe is powerful master it!

Improve your breathing - Master the ANS

The great news is we have many things we can do too shunt or cajole breathing back into a deeper more optimised pattern. Plus a few tips to avoid pressure on the respiratory system at source.

No.1 - Exercise! The well documented impact of exercise on our health is no great surprise but how many of us would attribute any of that to our 24000-movement breathing symphony. Particularly yoga

No.2 - Meditation using breathing techniques can make us more centred improving cognition and energy. Simple breathing work like box breathing, belly breathing, resonant breathing, and yoga itself can get us back to a better level of oxygen saturation and a mor balanced breathing pattern.

No 3 – Avoid overeating. Over filling the stomach can lead to 0 access to impaired diaphragmatic influence on your breathing so be mindful off over consumption to the point where you feel that restriction.

No.4 – Engage in evening breathwork to sleep heavier, sleep heavier to work on your breath. This virtuous cycle will help your adrenals begin the day in a balance that supports balanced breathing.

So, for an instant stress management tool and simple way to improve the overall load on your body breathe. Invite in the often-forgotten number one nutrient O2 and expect to live better just because you breathed better.

For more information on how to be healthier particularly in the workplace contact Chris here on Linkedin an expert in Health, Wellness and how to understand the importance of individuality when it comes to getting people to thrive.

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