As a parent, you’ve probably thought, ‘I need a minute to breathe’ too many times to count, but how often have you actually taken the time to intentionally breathe?
Well, knowingly or unknowingly, 2020 began the ‘minute to breathe’ that parents desired. See, while families were forced to embrace homeschooling, working remotely, and countless governmental restrictions as society’s ‘new normal,’ the world simultaneously adopted a slower pace.
A slower pace that offers families the opportunity to intentionally create a lifestyle more aligned with their desires.
Q. Why Does Intentional Breathing Really Matter?
Fun Fact: The average person takes 20,000+ breaths a day, Whoa!
Sad Truth: The average person only uses ⅓ of their lung capacity because they take quick + shallow breaths. This forces the body to operate on fight-or-flight mode, increases chronic stress, heart rate, blood pressure, and decreases the ability to remain alert/focused.
Fun Fact: Breathing accounts for 70% of the body’s toxin removal.
Sad Truth: Improper breathing prevents the body from eliminating toxins. Over time toxins build up and cause toxicity in the lungs and bloodstream. As a result, various body systems are forced to work on overdrive to compensate for this toxicity.
3 Health Benefits Of Intentional Breathing
Breathing with intention balances, strengthens, and charges your energy and physical body.
- Increases Oxygen Circulation To Your Brain: Allowing you to function at optimal levels, enhance energy levels, awareness, clarity, focus, concentration, retention, and decision making.
- Stimulates Self-Healing: Strengthens the immune system, decreases high blood pressure, heart rate, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and stress.
- Promotes Calmness: Triggers release of pleasureinducing neurochemicals in the body, promoting calmness and overall well-being. When improper breathing causesthe body to operate in fight-or-flight mode, the adrenal glands release the stress hormone Cortisol. Intentional breathing decreases the rate at which Coristol is released and helps your body’s natural reaction to stressful situations.
3 Ways To Breathe Intentionally
Try to incorporate these methods into your daily life to become aware of your breath and focus on it.
- Mindful Breathing: Take a moment to slow your breathing down by becoming aware of your breath and focusing on it. Observe how air moves in and out of the mouth, nose, and lungs.
- Pranayama Breathing: Take a moment to enable oxygen to travel to your brain and heart, cleanse your blood, and clear the respiratory system. Slowly inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose.
- Belly Breathing: Take a moment to reduce tension by laying on the ground and focusing on your breath. Place one hand on your stomach and inhale slowly through your nose. When you exhale, contract your belly muscles, and push the air out of your lungs.
3 Blissful Breathing Prompts For The Whole Family
We encourage you to habitually practice these prompts, repeating as many times as needed, to ensure blissful breathing for the whole family.
1. Grounding Family Meditation:
Take your shoes off, and plant your feet into the ground.
Close your eyes and take 7 slow, deep, and full breaths in + out. As you inhale, imagine air filling you up and traveling through your whole body, from your head down your legs and out through your feet. As you exhale, visualize your breath as the roots of a tree grounding into the soil.
Through this process, let your breath find its natural rhythm. Continuously visualize your roots grounding deeper and deeper into the Earth, allowing your breath to energize you.
2. ‘4-7-8’ Breathing For Youth + Adults
The 4-7-8 breathing technique decreases anxiety and enhances calmness and emotional responses.
Find somewhere comfortable to sit. If you can, close your eyes.
Inhale through your nose to the count of 4.
Hold your breath to the count of 7.
Exhale through your mouth to the count of 8.
3. Bunny Breathing For Children
Bunny breathing helps children calm themselves if they feel overwhelmed or anxious, allows them to relax when they are high energy, and rest when they need to go to sleep.
Imagine you are a Bunny in a Garden.
Take 3 quick sniffs through your nose.
Take one long exhale through your mouth.
We hope that we’ve planted seeds that empower blissful breathing for your whole family! To download a FREE ‘Blissful Breathing E-Guide + Playlist,’ please visit: bermudaparentmagazine.com