photo of Liz Barker
Liz Barker
June 17, 2020
contributing author:
Women meditating viewing sunrise

The last few months have been very challenging and breathwork and is something that has helped me find calm in such challenging times. Here is a simple 3-minute mediation and breathing exercise to help all of us who are struggling with stress and anxiety at the moment or finding it hard to sleep.

Why is breathing important?

The first thing we do when we come into this world is take a breath. The last thing we do when we leave it is take a breath. Yet, breathing is something we rarely think about. Our body does it for us. Upwards of 20,000 times a day.

Proper breathing technique is crucial for optimal health and yet most of us aren’t getting it right – and by right I mean using diaphragmatic breathing.

Why aren't we breathing properly?

1. We sit more than is healthy and normal for the human body. Often slouched over computers or desks, our lungs are squashed and it’s hard to push out our stomach or to fill the lower lobes of our lungs.

2. We’re often told as young children to suck in our tummies, and this continues into adulthood as we want to look slimmer and have a flat stomach. But this leads to upper chest breathing and discourages us from using our diaphragms and stomachs, this leads us to hold a lot of tension in.

3. We often don’t do enough physical exercise, especially cardio, which encourages us to focus on our breathing.

4. We can be under constant stress and tension with work and busy lives. We tend to breathe shallow and fast, and this exacerbates the problem and poor habits become ingrained.

Breathing is the superpower!

Every system in the body relies on oxygen. From cognition to digestion, effective breathing can not only provide you with a greater sense of mental clarity, but it can also help you sleep better, digest food more efficiently, improve your body's immune response, detoxifies the body, and reduce stress levels.

3-Minute Mediation and Breathing Exercise

Try this 3-minute mediation and breathing exercise to help you ride the waves of lockdown emotions.

Set a time for 3 minutes.

You can be seated or standing or lying down.

Pause and take a deep breath and place your feet flat on the floor. Really feel you feel in contact with the ground underneath you.

Now place your hands on your stomach and take 2-3 deep breathes in through your nose and out through your mouth noticing your stomach rising and fall feeling it with your hands with each breath in and out.

Then close your eyes.

Keep breathing deeply into your stomach. Breathe in for a count of 5, hold for 5 and breathe out slowly for a count of 5. Keep the pattern going until you hear the 3-minute timer.

How do you feel?

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