“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
A Danish freediver, Stig Severinsen, managed to hold his breath for 22 minutes in 2012, setting a world record that has yet to be beaten. How long do you think you could hold your breath underwater?
Oxygen is our most immediate need. It is, essentially, our fundamental exchange with the world around us. It sustains life, carrying out all of our vital organ functions with each inhale and exhale.
Continuing with the series of blogs on Wellness, this post will resume in the spin around the 12 dimensions of wellness.
Did you know that a normal adult usually breathe about 12-20 times per minute. Over the course of a day, that adds up to 17,000-30,000 breaths per day. That is a lot of breaths. Here’s the kicker: as a natural function of life, we aren’t even aware of most of most of those breaths.
We are so unaware of the power of our breath that it’s easy to forget that it can also be used to influence our overall state of wellbeing:
- Breathing can be a tool for self-regulation
- It can become a rest button to relax us
- It encourages us to “Let Go….” (mental release)
- Generate energy as in fitness practices
- Promote mindfulness of our surroundings
Powerful Internal Balance
Our breath is a powerful way to regulate our internal balance. Our brain responds to the intake of oxygen and helps us to manage our fight or flight fear response through a small structure known as the amygdala.
You can learn more about it here:
A way to become more aware of your breathing, and begin to bring calmness to your internal system, is to buy a package of colored dots and place them throughout your home.
Every time you see one of those dots allow that to trigger yourself to take a breathing break. Simply stop what you’re doing to inhale and exhale deepening, allowing yourself to feel the breath entering your body.
If you want to explore further how breathing is connected to the whole person wellness, be sure to join me in my well-being assessment. (We also go much deeper into the use of breath for holistic health.)
Dr. Ines K. Roe has been helping women in transition rediscover themselves for over 20 years. If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled, are frustrated with your sense of accomplishment in midlife, or simply need guidance on your path to holistic well being, join her ecourses.
I love this article Ines. Breathing is so important in so many ways and helpful in just as many ways. Thank you for sharing.
Breathing is under-estimated. So many benefits!
Thanks for the great reminder of the power of our breath!
What an interesting article. Now I can’t help being aware of my every breath!
As a practicing yogi I know well the benefits of breath and breathing. We call it prana….the life force.
Ines, this is such an important topic, I have a friend who, after a year of breath work, eradicated her asthma. Of course it is always a great way to regroup and center oneself, however the benefits of breath work are vast. Great information, thank you.
I’ve been trying to be more conscious of my breathing lately. Thank you for the reminder and the informative video.
I took breathing for granted until an allergic reaction left me unable to breathe. I am much more mindful of my breathing now.
I have a friend whose daughter has CF so I know that every breath is precious. NEVER take being able to take a deep breath for granted.
This is great information. I am a terrible breather when it comes to meditating and focusing on my breath. I start hyperventilating. But I can tell you that I appreciate every breath and never take them for granted.
Loved your audio file! I bookmarked it for daily reminder. Such an important topic and way of life. Thank you for the reminder.