Your breath is one of the most powerful tools you have to enhance your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Breathing is part of our autonomic nervous system, which means we don’t have to think to breathe. But it doesn’t mean we should ignore the benefits of using breathwork to improve our health.
Breathing intentionally is how you access the very core of human existence. It is the way we gain control of our lives, increase awareness, function better, and feel our best every day.
When we breathe in deeply our heart rate slows, our blood pressure decreases, cortisol drops, our immune system improves and we are more in touch with our surroundings. Anxiety builds when we wake up in the morning inundated with the stimulus of the modern world and forget about breathing. The heart beats faster, digestion slows and we feel out of control.
Don’t Forget to Breathe
In an age of attention-deficiency, it is more important than ever to pay attention to our breath. Breathing into our belly slows down our mind and helps us become aware of much more than just our breath. Our minds are overwhelmed in a way that isn’t natural. It’s not how we lived and evolved through thousands of years.
Sixty-eight percent of the population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. And burnout at work is becoming more common, according to a Deloitte survey. Sixty-four percent of professionals say they frequently feel stressed or frustrated at the current jobs, with nearly 20 percent feeling that way every day. Respondents reported that stress at work can negatively affect quality of work, personal relationships and personal health.
“Suicidal ideation is increasing amongst adults,” Nicole Fischer wrote in the State Of The States: 2020 Mental Health Rankings Forbes article. “More than 10 million adults are estimated to have had serious suicidal thoughts – a jump of more than 450,000 people from last year’s data.” In 2020, every day in the United States 20 young people die of suicide.
The New England Journal of Medicine has predicted with significant statistical accuracy that by 2030 50 percent of Americans will be obese and 25 percent of them will be severely obese (100 pounds overweight).
Depression is linked to our endocrine system and our ability to regulate hormones. By breathing we are able to reconnect with our body and regulate hormonal responses. The more we breathe, the more conscious we become and the greater our ability to impact the world around us in a positive, grounded way.
How to Practice Therapeutic Breathing
Practice this: Inhale for four seconds, then exhale for four seconds. Control your breath. Feel what it’s like to be ALIVE.
Inhale and let go, letting air out gently. It should feel like you are breathing in more air than you are letting out. Repeat this for about 30 breaths. If you begin to feel tingling in hands or feet or lightheadedness, gently exhale and hold your breath. Don’t breathe in.
Hold your breath until you feel the urge to breathe again. Do this three times.
You will immediately feel more in tune with your body, in control of your physiology, increasing your ability to handle extraneous circumstances, both physically and emotionally.
Practice 15 minutes of conscious breathing a day.
If you really want to supercharge the body, practice the breathing method that Wim Hof preaches. We’ve included an example below for you to try.
Creating a sustainable world starts with you, with your existence, your awareness, and your breath.
THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN REVIEWED BY THE FDA. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW DIET OR EXERCISE ROUTINE.