The ability to breathe is known as a normal function of the body. We don’t think about it, we don’t have to put any effort in, the body just takes in and expels air on its own. It’s not something we are taught as children, like tying our shoes laces. It just sort of happens. (And when you think about it, it’s an unappreciated miracle!)

However, what we are unaware of, is how we are breathing, especially in times or stress, panic, anger or upset.

Often we aren’t breathing at our lungs full capacity and this can have a huge impact on how the mind and body function.

Learning how we breathe; TRY THIS SIMPLE EXERCISE to learn how you are breathing:

-Begin laying down on the floor/ bed/ sofa and take a moment to notice where you feel your breath move in your body. You don’t need to do anything, just observe how your body receives and lets go of each breath. Notice where there is movement when you breathe. If possible, breathe in and out through the nose.

-To help you feel your breath, place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest. Notice the gentle movement beneath your hands for a few breaths. Keep observing.

-Then see if you can start to deepen the breath by taking a longer inhale and a longer exhale. Notice how this feels.
See if on your next exhale you can breathe right to the end of your breath, getting rid of the last drop of air in your lungs.
Then taking a longer in breath, filling your lungs with fresh air. (This should feel really good! If it doesnt, you might be over-straining yourself.)

-Continue this process of a long exhale and a long inhale for 4 more breaths. Then relax your hands down beside you, return to your natural breath and observe how you feel.

Do you notice any difference from before and after? Are you aware of where your breath moves in your body? Do you feel you breathe more into your belly or your chest?

Sometimes it’s as simple as learning how we are breathing in a situation and seeing if we can take a deeper longer breath.