Embodied Practice, Part 4: Tools For Breathing Vitality Into Your Life
By Eliza Demarest
When was the last time you intentionally took three slow, deep breaths? For some of us, maybe this is a daily practice. However, most of us tend to have stressful breathing patterns.
We distress our breath in long lines at the grocery store, at work, arguing with friends, a family member or a spouse, and driving. Physical, mental and emotional injuries affect the state of our breath as well. High intensity activities such as yoga, cross fit, and indoor and outdoor recreational sports can also increase your heart rate.
An increased heart rate is the outcome of both enjoyable and unenjoyable activities.
So, how can we combat the disrupting anxiety when life’s challenges arise? How can we control our state of breath during physical activities?
Having a stress free life is unrealistic. However, I believe there are tools in the world that can help eliminate anxiety in the breath before it even happens:
Identify the cause. Understanding the emotional triggers in your life can help manage the stress.
Practice daily meditation. Our minds are noisy. Quieting the mind helps us concentrate on resting in our own being, without all the distracting noise.
Breathe out of your nose. Most oxygen that we breathe into the body happens on the exhale. Since the nose is smaller than the mouth, our lungs absorb oxygen through the exhale at a slower rate. This balances the heart rate and relieves stress.
Slow down. Eat slower. Stretch. Go on a mellow walk in nature. Slow down your habitual practices and you will slow down your breath.
Do less. We are all guilty of multitasking. Try to focus on doing one task at a time. You may be surprised by the outcome due to focused attention.
Express gratitude. It can be easy to lose sight of this in the midst of our busy lives. Learn to be grateful for every experience. Take the time to feel the beauty that you already have.
Breath is needed for LIFE. It is the fundamental ingredient that influences a healthy relationship between the body and the mind.
Originally from Mount Shasta, California - Eliza is a wellness focused contributor at Aspen City of Wellbeing. She's a lover of all things wellbeing: smoothies, yoga, meditation, glitter, flowers, and time in nature. She's an aspiring road hog. Be sure to honk or wave if you see her cruising on her Harley through the Roaring Fork Valley.