Breathing is one of the most important functions that we, as humans, need in order to survive but often times do not perform efficiently.
It is part of our autonomic nervous system, meaning it is part of us that we do not have to consciously control, like speaking or performing activities like driving. Our brain is a very powerful tool but like any tool, we can miss some very amazing uses without realizing.
Breathing assists our body with oxygen perfusion. This is the process in which oxygen is carried throughout our body. I won’t get into all the details but I hope you all can see how important breathing is to our survival.
I have a history of heart palpitations. When I was younger, I would say that I could ‘feel my heart beating without oxygen’. Heart palpitations have many causes and are usually harmless. But when you are having them, it can feel like your chest is devoid of oxygen.
As I got older, I would pay more attention to the moments when I felt the heart palpitations. The reasons varied but included, exercise, nervousness, stress, and to add a metaphysical reason, my spiritual awakening.
No matter the reason, I noticed one thing– I was not taking enough deep breaths. Deep breathing has so many benefits. It reduces your heart rate, stress, headaches; it calms the nerves, boosts mood and energy, and increases blood oxygenation. There is a reason that mindfulness and breath work has been taking a front seat in so many lives. It can save lives!
At the start of this post, I said that we weren’t breathing efficiently. We are living in a time where we are always on the go. So, if we are always moving, we are not taking efficient amount of time to be in the moment or take deeper breaths. We also live in an age of technology, big city and less nature. We are breathing in toxic air, which already reduces our oxygen intake. Mix the low oxygen intake with shallow breathing, you get bodies that aren’t getting what they need.
This is just your friendly reminder to stop and smell the proverbial roses (or real roses). I have been taking moments out of my day to consciously breathe deeply and I hope you find time in your day to take deep breaths.