As moms we often forget to breathe.
Diaper changes…no chance we’ll be taking a breath.
Call from your kid’s school in the middle of the day…all oxygen has left the room.
Step on a Lego…well, you get the idea.
Motherhood is full of breathless moments and now we’re going to teach you how to breathe. Sure we exhale and inhale all the time without thinking. However, we’re talking about how to truly breathe deeply in a way that has far more benefits than just pulling air into your lungs.
Throughout many Peachie Moms blog posts and Academy Activities you have, no doubt, noticed that we recommend taking “a deep breath,” a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Now, after putting the final touches on our Healthy Boundaries Mini-Course (which is still FREE when you sign up to receive our newsletter, by the way), we realized that, while we tell you not to forget to breathe, we’ve neglected to explain how to breathe… or why, for that matter. Without further ado, here’s they why and the how of taking a deep breath.
Why is breathing important?
You might be asking why the heck we even care about breathing deeply at all and that’s okay. In our culture, it’s uncommon to spend much time or attention on our breath and how we take in and expel this life-sustaining force. Breathing brings oxygen to your brain and blood. It keeps you alive. It’s kinda important. Taking full, deep breaths provides mental clarity, improved mood, better digestion, faster metabolism, lower blood pressure… do we need to go on? ‘Cuz we could.
When should I take a deep breath?
Anytime your breathing crosses your awareness (read: anytime you notice you’re breathing… or not breathing), you should take a moment and breathe deeply with focus and intention. Why? We’re a society of shallow breathers. We chronically use less than half of our lungs’ full capacity which leaves residue behind and keeps us feeling tired and low. Taking deep breaths supports your body to clear out waste material in your lungs and bring fresh oxygen to your cells. Who wouldn’t want to get more of that any and every time you think of it?!
How do I take a deep breath?
This is the question, now isn’t it. Often, when a person thinks of taking a deep breath, they imagine their chest raising as their lungs fill with air. Stop that. Stop that right now. The higher portions of your lungs are, in fact, not the area you need to focus on filling up. When we talk about taking a deep, cleansing breath, we’re talking about bringing air all the way down into the bottom most areas of those beautiful lungs of yours. We want your belly and lower ribcage to expand as your diaphragm pulls down into your stomach. That’s where the magic happens.
Learning to breathe deeply can be done in a couple of ways. Two of our favorites are outlined below as little exercises you can try right now! By yourself or with the kids – it’s never too early to learn to breathe. Ready? Right now. Do it!
Lay down on the floor, flat on your back.
Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor, just wider than hip-width.
Allow your knees to lean in, touching one another.
Place both hands on your stomach, gently.
As you breathe, focus on bringing the air into your body and down to the bottom of your lungs, making your hands rise and fall on your belly.
Keep your breath slow and even as you relax and feel yourself sinking into the floor.
Start this exercise either standing or sitting with good posture.
Place both hands on your sides around the bottom of your bra, sort of circling the mid to lower area of your ribcage.
As you breathe slowly, focus on your lungs pushing your ribs out where your hands are resting.
Breathe like this for a moment or two, keeping your shoulders down and back, feeling your lungs expand your ribcage on either side.
Wanna see this one in action? We added a little something to our YouTube channel when we realized this was probably something we should be talking about. While you’re on the ‘tube, subscribe to our channel! We’re launching new video content soon and don’t want you to miss any peachie goodness there!
Hooray, you did it! Now anytime we say, “don’t forget to breathe” or “take a deep breath,” you’ll know exactly what we mean and will experience all the mental and physical health benefits of taking bigger, better breaths.