Sunday morning post long run I arrive at my favourite organic cafe on the esplanade of one of the most beautiful places in the world, Mooloolaba! As I order my dandelion latte I receive a small paper square branded with ink of a quote ‘stop, breathe, be here now!’ These quotes always spiritually connect me with myself and have me realise how intricate and amazing we are as human beings. It also made me remember my favourite book that I came across a few months ago, ‘Accidently overweight’ by Dr Libby Weaver. If you have not read this book do so, it changes your life! Most of what I talk about in this post is credit to this incredible Aussie!
Just breathe! This saying sounds so stupid as it is vital for us as humans to breathe for survival, but Im talking really breathe. Stop now and think about your breath. Is it short and sharp? Does it only move your diaphragm or does your belly move in or out? Do you breathe in through your nose or mouth? Do you have long slow breathes with a pause or is it short and sharpe?
Breathing is the only conscious mechanism we can control that is linked to our automatic nervous system (ANS). Breathing dominates the ANS because we breathe 5,000 to 30,000 times per day. There are three parts of our automatic nervous system our enteric system, parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and our sympathetic nervous system(SNS). Our SNS and PNS oppose each other. PNS is our rest and repair system and SNS is our flight or fight system. If our body is out of balance I.e. Deficient in nutrients, organs under stress from toxins like the relationship with the liver and alcohol, emotionally or mentally unstable our SNS will always be activated, not allowing the PNS to kick in, recover and repair our bodies. SNS dominance can be cyclic having your body think that it is always in danger. I have experienced this first hand through continuous overtraining everyday and it can have so many negative implications on our health. Reducing SNS dominance is essential for fat loss and maintaining equilibrium in the body. Regarding you have fairly immaculate nutritional habits and disregarding many other inhibiting factors, If you don’t loose weight from high-intensity exercise it is likely you are SNS dominant.
NOTHING COMMUNICATES TO EVERY CELL THAT YOU ARE SAFE BETTER THAN YOUR BREATH.
When we breathe long slow breaths that moves our diaphragm and our belly in and out our PNS is activated. This pleasant and free gift that we are all blessed with at birth can help us reduce anxiety, down regulate the production of our fat storage stress hormones I.e cortisol/adrenalin and allow us to repair our bodies to digest our lunch, fight an infection or heal a cut.
This simple but truly powerful gift that is free to all of us, that can be subconscious or consciously regulated can change every cell in our body. Be truly grateful for the amazing gift of life and how truly miraculous our bodies are and start really breathing!