Just Breathe

Breathing. It seems a simple task.  Yet so often we hold our breath when we need it most.  Try this test: Sit in a chair and get up.  Were you breathing when you got up or did you hold your breath until you were standing?  Chances are you were holding your breath.  If you are, you are depriving your body of oxygen when it most needs it.  It’s not much different from driving a car and putting the brakes on when you are trying to drive uphill.

Holding your breath on exertion also reduces the blood flow to the heart causing a sharp rise in blood pressure followed by a sudden drop in blood pressure. Known in medical terms as a Valsalva maneuver it can cause someone to faint, black out, have irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and if you have high blood pressure and are at high risk for a stroke or heart attack, possibly a heart attack.

Breathing has also been scientifically proven to help calm and relax a person. It helps those with anxiety and stress disorders, and can help lower your blood pressure.  Simply finding a quiet place where you can take 5 minutes to sit, close your eyes and focus on your breathing can recharge your energy and help release your stress.  No cost involved.  If you need some outside help, there are plenty of free apps on the internet you can download to help you focus.

So the next time you are getting up from a chair, stressed, taking the stairs, or anxious, just breathe.


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