How are you feeling right now? Really. Close your eyes and feel your body. Where do you feel tension? Shoulders, stomach, head, legs? Now, notice your breath. Is it shallow? Do you notice that you are breathing from your abdomen or chest? If you are feeling tension anywhere in your body, you are most likely feeling the breath coming from your chest rather than the abdomen.
Now try sitting up straight, even if you are sitting at work, close your eyes and breathe from your navel. Imagine your belly filling up with air as you inhale. Hold the breath. On the exhale, imagine your abdomen deflating. With the last bit of breath out, push your abdominal muscles back toward your spine to get the last bit of air out of the lungs.
How do you feel now? Feeling a bit more relaxed?
Oxygen is needed to rejuvenate every one of our cells. Typically, we use about 3/4 of our lung capacity in unconscious breath, meaning a lot of the oxygen and carbon dioxide is not being exchanged with regular breathing. Breathing consciously decreases stress and tension and helps us to think clearly.
My challenge to you: Try this breathing exercise 1-3 minutes everyday for a week and see how you begin to feel.