How often do you think about your breathing?
It’s an automatic thing, so you don’t need to think about it. It just happens, which is pretty cool.
But, there’s a correct way to breathe… and most people do it wrong. How is it possible to breathe wrong? Well… you might be taking breaths that are too shallow. Or you might be using the wrong muscles. When you’re stressed, you might hold your breath without realizing it. (I have to raise my hand to that one.)
If you’re in that group of people — and most of us are at least some of the time — the way you breathe could be affecting everything from your digestion to how well you sleep to your energy levels to your ability to solve problems.
Pretty crazy, right?
Fortunately, learning to breathe properly is pretty easy. It just takes a little thought, attention, and practice.
First, breathe through your nose. If you’re used to breathing through your mouth or you have a stuffed-up nose because of allergies, this can take some practice. And it can feel a little like you aren’t getting enough air at first. Aim to pause three or four times a day and deliberately breathe through your nose for at least a minute. It will quickly start to feel more natural.
Second, use your stomach muscles — your diaphragm — to breathe in. When you take a long, slow breath, focus on your stomach muscles expanding, rather than your chest muscles. This is a sign you’re inhaling properly. When you exhale, just relax those same muscles. You don’t have to do anything other than let the exhale happen.
Third, pay attention to muscle tension and try to let it go as you breathe. The more relaxed your breathing, the more oxygen will get to your organs and brain. That means better energy and alertness.
A good breath is slow, quiet, and even.
Okay, I know that’s a lot to think about, and you have other things that need your attention. If you want to become a better breather, pick two or three five-minute blocks during your day to breathe deeply and to focus on breathing correctly.
Even if that’s the only time of day you breathe properly, it’s still going to do good things for your body and have a noticeable impact on your focus and attention levels. But chances are, with practice, your new breathing habits will carry over into those moments when you aren’t thinking about breathing at all. And that means even more focus and energy… plus better circulation, better sleep, and a better mood.
Not bad for something as simple as breathing!
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Mark Your Calendar
September 10th: Join me for our next live Monthly Member Update. During this webinar session, we’ll talk about top content, upcoming events and challenges, and your questions about freelance web writing. Plus… I’ll give you some ideas for putting together a resume to use as a freelancer. This is a bit different from a standard resume, but there are definitely times when it will come in handy!
Around the Web
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That’s all for now. Make it a great week!