We forget to breathe.
It's the first thing that goes when we get excited, when we get scared, when we are stressed and when we are distracted. We hold our breath - its a natural reaction and it happens - a lot.
Your breath is at the forefront of the things that are keeping you alive though (just try not breathing for a few mins..) and the one thing you can do to instantly ground you, calm you, re energize you and bring you back to your center. Not breathing properly is one of the things who's compound effect (day in and day out, over and over again) can really leave a negative impact on our health without us having the slightest clue why we feel so crummy.. we are oxygen deficient and un-centered energetically. It may not seem so bad, but it can be huge for your wellbeing.
We tend to take shallow breaths in our normal dispositions. This is a learned behavior we pick up over time and if you look at a baby's belly as they breath, you can see them fully inflate and deflate. The first time we got scared as a child we held our breath, and shallow breathing was introduced. [Everything is essentially learned and can be un-learned.] As adults, we don't sue our full lung capacity to bring oxygen (read: life force) into our bodies. This has a trickle down effect.
Oxygen is energy. It gives you life, is THE way to release stress, to reinvigorate and to remind yourself that you are alive. Breathing in deeply brings oxygen to your lungs, sending it through your blood stream into every cell of your body (which necessary for every one of your trillion's of cell's basic function and process) ultimately reaching your brain. Your brain is that thing at the top of your head that you think. It is nourished by fats, glucose and oxygen, and it helps you make all of your most minimal to most important decisions. If you aren't properly breathing, you aren't nourishing your brain with oxygen, which may mean you are not making the best decisions you could be, not tapping into your full intelligence, and not developing your talents, creativity or potential.
Your organs could also be deficient because of the lack of hemoglobin reaching them - which this alone causes a chain reaction that combined with a slew of stress, improper nutrition, lack of hydration, restless sleep..yada yada..can set you up for trouble.
Breathing is actually really, really easy though. We do it naturally without thinking about it, but breathing deeply is something we do have to take a moment to think about.
Here's a good exercise to practice:
-Breathe in for a count of four.
-Breathe out for a count of four, using your belly muscles to push all of the air out.
-Hold for a count of four. Repeat.
This simple practice is slightly meditative even though it is active and easy enough to do while sitting in traffic, watching tv, cooking or scrolling through your phone. This particular practice detoxes your cells and allows you to release emotions, stress, negative thoughts and any bad juju you may have lurking around your day. Kinda neat, no?
Breathing is powerful. Just look at how beautiful the network of bronchial capillaries we have, it's quite exquisite. This is no accident, it is this extensive for a reason. So breathe deeply. It's a simple way to remind yourself that you are alive (and that you should be living every moment of your life.)