I’m obsessed with breathing. Apart from the fact that I breathe approximately 25 thousand times per day, I’ve spent the last 25 years measuring and studying breathing patterns and teaching clients and patients about breathing.
And still, sometimes I get it wrong. I notice when I talk a lot my breathing gets lodged in my chest and I can even find myself getting light headed.
I notice when I sit at my desk and open up my emails, I hold my breath. I do this too when I’m excited or concentrating hard.
I notice when I’m rushing around – not even stressed, just busy – my breathing gets ragged and unsteady.
I even noticed recently on holiday when I took a breather (sorry) from the ‘breathwork’ my sleep patterns began to go awry.
No it’s not possible to monitor every one of those 25 thousand breaths (that would be maddening) – most of our breathing is unconsciously generated – but life today is so speedy that we unconsciously get into bad breathing habits. In fact, years ago when I worked in a health screening clinic I noticed that over 75% of the clients (not patients – these were ‘well’ corporate employees) were breathing sub-optimally in ways that would make them stressed, chronically exhausted, overweight and insomniac.
Did you know that poor breathing can also make you experience false hunger pangs?
I talk about breathing in every piece of work I undertake. I once had a corporate client who asked me to return to do a piece of work with his team but this time ‘none of that breathing stuff’. I refused the work.
My advice is simple – just for 21 days become even slightly obsessed with your breathing. Notice it five times a day – first thing in the morning before you get out of bed, last thing at night as you drift off to sleep, and then find three other times during the day. Put your feet on the ground, drop your breathing into your belly, exhaaale long and inhale fat.
Breathe well consciously so you can breathe well unconsciously.
And the return on investment? More energy, better sleep, better health, clearer thinking, better decisions, healthier choices, a juicier life. Who wouldn’t want that?