Breathe easy.

In a world that can sometimes seem troubling and stressful, we’re often challenged to find a way to relax and disengage. We may exercise, watch TV, socialize, or eat or drink to release stress.

Some of our stress-relieving habits may be healthy, others perhaps not so much. But we likely forget the one surefire tension reliever that is built into us—breath.

When we’re tense, we tend to breathe shallowly, little breaths from the top of our lungs. This style of breathing reduces oxygen intake, impairs our thinking, and elevates our blood pressure and heart rate.

When we consciously breathe more fully—deep, slow belly breathes with nice complete inhalations and exhalations—we balance the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in our bodies and stabilize our blood pressure and heart rate. We feel better too.

Breathing slowly and deeply isn’t hard to do, we just have to remember to do so regularly and especially when we’re stressed. Healthy breathing is free, easy, and effective.

Today’s message reminds me that stress relief is always only one breath away. When I let my breath become relaxed and easy, I feel the same way too.

Please reflect and share. Do you use conscious breath as a tool for your well-being?