Conscious vs Unconscious Breathing
Breathing is something that happens both consciously and subconsciously which is super cool.
If the brain was left in control of your breathing you’d be distracted by everything else and you’d be in big trouble.
Your body is incredibly good at keeping you alive, which it does without you having to think about it, but we can also influence the way we breathe which can powerfully impact the quality of our lives.
If we look at the way a child or baby breathes, the majority of the time they have the most perfect breath.
But life, stress, tensions happens over time, the way we move our body changes and the way we breath starts to change in response to the changing stresses of life.
Many of us, myself included, don’t think about how our breathing happens very much. I mean, you’re alive so breathing is clearly happening, your body is doing its amazing thing.
But the way we breathe can make a huge difference.
We can intellectualise the thought that most of us can walk, move, sit in a chair, so most of us should be able to do a squat because that’s the way the human body is supposed to move, but clearly that’s not always the case. Sometimes the way we move, walk, sit in a chair, squat or other ways we move through life can influence the way we do other things.
For example, if your gait is out, you’re walking with a limp, or you’re favouring a particular muscle when you exercise, this will lead to another part or muscle overcompensating for that imbalance. This is the same thing that happens with your breathing.
If there was an imbalance or misalignment in your movement or muscles, you would seek help from a professional, maybe a personal trainer or physiotherapist, someone who helps correct the movement patterns and heal the pain its causes in your body.
We should approach breathing in the same way. If your breathing is out, it will affect every cell in your body and other systems will start compensating to maintain homeostasis or balance in our body. This has a domino effect when one thing is out. The way we breathe literally influences every cell in our bodies.
Sometimes this takes someone else shining a light on what’s going on/wrong, sometimes it takes you recognising what’s going on. Perhaps you’re breathing always only into your chest and not into your belly, maybe you're holding your breath or breathing really fast.
This is where a breathing professional is really powerful. They have the skills and knowledge to help you get back to balance, and re-power your body. If breathing affects every one of your cells, the way you breath will influence your life.
The way we breathe is like building a ladder to help us change our lives, feel less pain, have balance in our bodies and get better at life.
One thing you can do today is try to be aware of your breath - how are you breathing right now? And begin there. Your body knows how to breathe, but sometimes we don't pay enough attention to it.