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Stop Scrolling and Breath

There are so many benefits to taking time each day to intentionally focus on your breath. Breathing is something we take for granted. What a gift that our lungs breathe air without us even thinking about it.

When we take a moment to be grateful for that breath of air and pay attention to how it feels to take a breath, we allow our brain to take a break from the barrage of thoughts and worries swirling around in our heads.

Have you ever tried to notice which one of your lungs fills up with air first? Or have you ever tried to feel where the air changes directions towards your lungs as you breathe in through your nose? Is there a difference in the temperature of your breath before and after you breathe? This quick 5 minute guided mediation talks you through focusing on just this .

If possible, schedule time to practice concentrating on your breath a couple times a day. Starting your day with deep intentional breaths coupled with gratitude is an easy way to create a habit of incorporating intentional breathing into each day. If you find yourself overwhelmed or anxious, pause and take a few deep breaths.

Intentional breathing helps you to manage anxiety, stress and uncertainty. It can energize you or it can calm you depending on how you do it. It can help with healing and has many physical health benefits from balancing blood pressure, improving how deep you sleep, strengthening your respiratory system to boosting your immune system and releasing stress hormones from your body.

Breathwork is the buzz word for intentional breathing and I haven’t even scratched the surface of the variety of breathing exercises out there. One of my favourites is box breathing:

Breath in for the count of 4 - 1, 2, 3, 4

Hold for the count of 4 – 1, 2, 3, 4

Breath out for the count of 4 – 1, 2, 3, 4

Hold for the count of 4 – 1, 2, 3, 4

Repeat 10 times or as many times as needed.

Other methods have you hold one nostril closed to take turns breathing in through one nostril and out through another. There are various ways to focus on combinations of breathing through your mouth and/or through your nose with varying speeds. You can also concentrate on focusing your breath to a specific part of your body such as your heart.

Belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing is a method of breathing that uses your entire lung capacity. When you do belly breathing correctly your chest expands very little while the abdominal area expands significantly.

To take breathing to a whole new level, you can even engage your sympathetic nervous system through your breath and push cerebral spinal fluid up into your brain to engage your penial gland by squeezing your muscles as you breathe.

The possibilities are endless, but regardless of how you breathe, set aside one or two times each day to stop scrolling and breathe. Press pause and breathe.

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