Let’s All Take a Deep Breath
“I feel that since my diagnosis of cancer, I’ve had an accelerated learning curve about myself and the rest of the universe.
I miss my ‘old self’ but I know that I am living life to it’s fullest and enjoying every breath.
Breath. It really is everything.”
Nancy Kirby, Austin, TX
Stopping to take a breath, focusing on long, deep breathing can support you as you move forward with your healing. You likely already know that deep breathing is the foundation of most meditation practices, but it benefits your mind and body in many ways you may not have considered.
By breathing deeply, you allow your diaphragm to relax, your rib cage to expand and create more space for the lungs to fill with life. This increases oxygen in your blood, eventually helping your heart rate to slow down, creating feelings of calmness, peace and relaxation.
Deep breathing also detoxifies your body and releases toxins. Roughly 70% of toxins in our bodies are released through our breath. Carbon dioxide, as an example, is a natural waste product of your body’s metabolic process.
So what other benefits can you experience from practicing deep breathing?
- Strengthening the lymphatic system
- Calming the nervous system
- Lowering and stabilizing blood pressure
- Reducing feelings of anxiety and stress
- Sit in a comfortable position, lie flat on the floor, your bed or yoga mat- somewhere you’re comfortable.
- Relax your shoulders and your back. Really tune into every part of your body to make sure you’re not feeling tension anywhere.
- Breathe in through your nose until your lungs feel full. Experience the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, making your stomach expand.
- Exhale slowly until your lungs feel deflated.
- Repeat this process several times.