Breathing is something we do on average 20,000 times per day. We do it without thinking (our bodies are truly amazing!). But how often do we really stop to check on how well we’re breathing?
The fast-paced and stressful world we live in today results in many of us taking quick, short, shallow breaths, which is really inefficient when it comes to replenishing our systems. But according to Dr. Julia Sen, a registered clinical and counselling psychologist in Toronto, there’s a wonderful way to learn how to breathe more effectively: Watch an infant. (Yes, we’re giving you permission to do nothing but gaze at a new baby for a few minutes! Even if it’s via YouTube or a video from a friend.)
Babies breathe so deeply, so naturally and at such a perfect pace—if only we continued to breathe how we did when we were born. So, we need to remind ourselves of how it’s done. Sen’s favourite breathing exercise is so straightforward that it’s easy for even young children to do.
Here’s how to get yourself breathing deeply again
Inhale through your nose for a five second count and then exhale through your nose or mouth for another five-second count. Repeat this cycle five to 10 times. That’s it!
Sounds simple, but this focused breathing will help bring your body to a more relaxed state. Try this in the morning for a calm start to your day, and at night to help you and your brood have a good night’s sleep.