Sometimes the simplest things in life are often the most beneficial. Of all the bodily functions, a great example is breathing. You can go for months with little sleep, weeks without food and days without water. Breathing on the other hand, well, you can only go for a few minutes. But for whatever reason, breathing is something many people forget to do on a daily basis. I’m not talking about your general breathing; I’m talking about mindful breathing. Deep, meditative breathing to help you reconnect yourself so you can be more grounded.
Why is Being Mindful of Your Breathing So Important?
Deep breathing is essential for many reasons. Deep breathing oxygenates the blood, releases endorphins and reduces stress. It also stimulates the brain into different wave patterns. On top of that, it’s really good for the organs and digestion. There really is no reason to not spend at least a few minutes a day being mindful of your breathing.
Meditation in essence is deep breathing. It is ideal for you to breathe deeply to relax yourself after the general stress of daily life. Another very important reason it’s vital to be mindful of your breathing is that it calms the mind. We all know how pesky the mind can be from time to time. For many of us, the mind is our greatest enemy. The mind loves to make stories up, create problems and worry about the future on a regular basis. The mind is like a sentry on a ship looking for an iceberg — always on the lookout. The only problem is the mind is overly cautious.
In the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, the mind is cause for just about every problem the world is facing. More importantly, it’s the egoic mind. The mind that has identified with too many problems and refuses to let go of the past. Mindfulness meditation focused on deep breathing can be used to penetrate the defensive mind in order to bring peace and harmony to a person’s life.
And, deep breathing is one of the easiest things to do. But like Jeff Olson says in the Slight Edge, “The things that are easy to do, they’re also really easy not to do.” Forgetting to set time aside each day to focus on your breathing is something many people have challenges with. Life can get chaotic. But with just a few minutes and a few times a day, a person’s life can change dramatically for the better. And when you practice mindfulness with your breathing over the course of a few years, your life can change forever.
A Quick “How to Guide” for Meditation Practice
Meditation leads to enlightenment. And as the Buddha said, enlightenment is not some far off place reserved for special people and monks. Enlightenment is simply the end of suffering. If you haven’t practiced simple breathing meditations, it’s very easy. All you need to do is find a peaceful place free from distractions.
Then take deep focused breaths down to your lower abdomen allowing your entire chest to fill with air. I like to call them belly breaths. Focus on the life energy of your breath as it goes in through your nose and then expands into your lungs to give you energy. Finally pay attention to it as you exhale gently out of your mouth releasing the toxins or negative energies.
Start doing these breathing exercises for 5 minutes at a time just 3 times a day and watch what happens. Your life will change in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. After a while, increase the time limit you spend on each session. With time, you’ll improve at the art of meditation and notice a lot of mental and physiological changes in your life.