Have you ever considered how amazing it is that our bodies breathe without our conscious control? Whew! Thank goodness, I don't have to always keep in mind "breathe in" and later "breathe out." If I can't find my car keys, imagine what would happen to my lungs!!
It's interesting, however, that we also have conscious control over our breathing, if we choose. So, we can take a big breath in preparation for yelling. We can breathe shallowly if the air is toxic. We can take long, slow breaths to calm down. Manipulating our breathing turns out to be one of the best things we can do to help ourselves feel better. How? In the next few posts, I'll tell you!
I was first introduced to the importance of breathing as a singer in our school chorus. Our teacher taught us about breathing from the diaphragm (not the birth control device, but the muscle in your middle) to support high or loud singing. Later, working in the theater, actors must master their breathing in order to portray their characters so that the audience can hear and understand them. But, the most life-changing experience with breathing came when I started to meditate. Meditation, especially focusing on the breath, has helped me to calm my nervous system and relieve pain.