Body & Spirit

Breathing

“Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift.”

Amit Ray

It is the gift of life. One we are used to and do not see it as such. It’s become an automatic experience on our part. Which, in many ways, it is. Have you ever thought about it? Do you breathe, or does the breathing does itself without your conscious involvement? When you are doing your activities focused, you still breathe, and when asleep, your breathing goes on.

The reason for this is the hormones that stimulate respiration. They do this through the endocrine system. The endocrine system connects to the respiration and circulatory system.

According to Healthline, breathing through the mouth all the time, including when you’re sleeping, can lead to problems. In children, mouth breathing can cause crooked teeth, facial deformities, or poor growth. In adults, chronic mouth breathing can cause bad breath and gum disease. It can also worsen symptoms of other illnesses. Breathing through the mouth only becomes necessary when you have nasal congestion due to allergies or a cold. Also, when you are exercising strenuously, mouth breathing can help get oxygen to your muscles faster.

It is however very important to breathe through the nose. Aside from the benefits of the nose producing nitric oxide which increases the lungs’ ability to absorb more oxygen, and easy transportation of oxygen through the body by allowing the blood vessels to dilate. The nose also acts as a filter retaining small particles such as pollens and dust, adds moisture to the air preventing dryness in the lungs, and warms cold air to body temperature before it gets to the lungs.

Shallow breaths. We live most of our lives breathing in shallow breaths. Conditioned by our environments with sedentary work and lack of physical exercise, many fall victims to this. Shallow breathing over time weakens the strength of our respiratory muscles. Creating tension in our upper body and negatively affecting our health. Shallow breathing also leads to Anxiety, stress, and panic attacks. Shallow breathing, also known medically as hypopnea, may result in hypoventilation. Causing a build-up of carbon dioxide in an individual’s body, a symptom known as hypercapnia (Wikipedia).

Diaphragmatic breathing is said to be the best. Diaphragmatic breathing is deep breathing. When we breathe in, or inhale, our diaphragm contracts and moves downward. This increases the space in our chest cavity, and our lungs expand into it. The muscles between our ribs also help enlarge the chest cavity. They contract to pull our rib cage both upward and outward when we inhale. These deep breaths strengthen our lungs and allow for effortless proper breathing.

Inhaled and exhaled air

Photo Credit

On inhales, we have more oxygen than carbon dioxide, and vice versa on exhales. The nitrogen levels are almost constant.

Cellular respiration is when the cells of our body use oxygen from the inhales to get energy from the foods we consume. The cells use oxygen to breakdown sugars, and carbon dioxide is produced in turn, releasing energy.

Air is life. Our existence is dependent on the process of breathing since this is the route of most of our energy. The quality of your breathing influences the quality of your life. Correct breathing enhances one’s life. It decreases our stress levels, creating calmness in our lives, and detoxifies the body. Also, it increases body energy improving immunity, and lowering blood pressure. It also helps in digestion and supports the correct body posture. Always remember to take deep breaths within your day, especially when feeling overwhelmed.

“Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body.”

Thich Hanh

References:
Healthline
Wikipedia
Photo credit  

47 thoughts on “Breathing

  1. Great post and reminder about breathing, as you said shallow breathing is what most of us do due to the environment and quality of air. I often hold my breath when I walk about to avoid inhaling the foul smells around. Then must deep breathe to clear the airways once again. Air and breathing vital to our well being.

    1. Shallow breathing has many limitations to the body and quality of experiences. Pollution again, as you’ve mentioned affects the quality of our air making it even more difficult for the body to absorbed the much needed air in the right proportions. Being aware of the importance of proper breathing is an important step. Welcome and keep taking deep breaths.

    1. Pranayama allows for relaxation and personal development through opening the body and creating a connection to the mind and our environment. I love it to. 🌻

      1. I can imagine. Proper breathing reduces stress levels significantly and In turn brings about healing since most diseases manifest through stress

  2. I recently read a poem somewhere and it asked “why are you breathing?”
    We really go through life taking the most vital things for granted almost unknowingly… great post!

  3. A VERY GOOD POST ON ‘BREATHING’.OUR VERY LIFE DEPENDS ON BREATHING AND WHEN WE STOP BREATHING,IT IS THE END OF OUR LIFE. We may stop eating,drinking(water i mean)but we cannot stop breathing even for 2 minutes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s