Breathing is essential to life.  Most of us would die of our bodies in five minutes if we failed to breathe, and it is nature's gift that we usually breathe sub-consciously - we wouldn't be able to focus on doing much else otherwise!

Yet do we realise that the quality of our breathing plays a major role in how we feel, how we respond to situations and, how we can operate to our fullest potential? For instance, defective breathing contributes to over 80% of feelings of anxiety.

Here is a simple way to how we can start improving the quality of our breathing...

Imagine that your body's energy sits in a pouch or purse that is located in your belly, just below your navel.

When you breathe in, (through the nose is best), feel yourself FIRST filling this pouch and not your lungs.  Once your belly has extended outwards in all directions (not just frontwards), then let your breath start to travel up through the lungs, right up to the top of your chest, and without moving your shoulders upwards.  This should take 3-5 seconds - whatever feels most comfortable for you. 

Then breathe outwards (again, through the nose is best) in reverse: first emptying from the top of your chest then downwards until the last dregs are emptied from that imaginary 'pouch' in your belly.  This should take the same length of time to your in-breath, about 3-5 seconds.  

You can start this practice by doing it for a minute (just six breaths!)  then build up to five minutes, then ten minutes whilst sitting or even lying down.  (It's both a relaxing and beneficial way to fall asleep at night.)  The aim is to slowly build up so that it becomes a natural habit of how you breathe all of the time.

Notice how much more calm you begin to feel; how more confident you grow in coping with situations, and how your energy levels improve.  Please send in your feedback on the Contact page.