The way we breathe has a profound effect on our health and well-being. Appropriate breathing not only helps us bring more oxygen to our brain and tissues, it also helps us eliminate waste from our bodies, improve our circulation, release endorphins (our natural pain killers), increase our mental alertness, and reduce tension.
If you ever observe a baby breathe, the first thing you will notice is that their abdomen rises and falls with every breath they take. This is because babies breathe using their diaphragm. As we grow older, we replace this form of breathing with a more shallow version during which only our upper chest gets filled with air. This type of shallow breathing generally tends to produce tension and contributes to feelings of fatigue.
If you want to improve your energy and mood while assisting your body in its process of detoxification, start practicing diaphragmatic breathing again. Place one hand over your abdomen and feel it rise as you consciously take a slow, deep breath in; then let it out slowly. Start by taking 5 diaphragmatic breaths per hour of your day. If you do this during an 8-hour work shift you would be including 40 deep breaths in your day!
Try to aim for 100 deep breaths in a day and start reaping the benefits of increased energy, improved mental clarity, and decreased stress in your life.