Since 2012 the World Breathing Day is celebrated in Sweden. This day is now gaining more and more international attention. Inspired by the increasing interest, we are now launching Breath Hour across the globe. On February 3rd between noon and 1 pm, we give our breathing a little extra attention. Further down you can read about different Breath Hour activities
Our breathing is the first function that fails during stress
During stress, our breathing is the first function that fails. We start to breathe faster and shallow and the mouth goes up, or we tense our jaw, neck, and shoulders and hold our breath completely and “forget” to exhale. If we do something often enough we establish new habits and as the stress and pressure continue our breathing is then no longer just a mirroring of the stress, but it reinforces the perceived stress. Over time our breathing starts to live its own life, and eventually, it triggers stress reactions on its own.
The number of stimuli that our brain is exposed to in today society is unprecedented in human history. This is reflected in deteriorating health, both among kids and adults, where stress, concentrating difficulties, poor sleep and low energy is starting to become the norm. Just going back a few decades is enough to realize that today’s pace is considerably higher. And if we go back to the beginning of the twentieth century the difference is even more striking. Considering that we have evolved over millions of years, these changes are extreme given that they have occurred in a very short period.
Learn how to maintain good breathing habits in our daily life
With the ever-increasing pace, we risk getting lost and get trapped in activity and achievement. This gives us tunnel vision, and we lose the ability to see the whole picture. We the pace is turned up we lose touch with ourselves and deep inside we feel more and more insecure, despite radiating self-confidence at work and home. Long term and lasting solutions are about to become scarce and more often than not, short-term, temporary solutions are winning where the economy is priority number one, and the new religion is money.
So what is the alternative, shall we all move out to a hut in the forest, sit and meditate and nibble lettuce leaves all day? No! For most of us it is, of course, not an option to run away from the stress, and if it’s not, then we need to be able to deal with it. And our breath is a fantastic tool for dealing with stress. What we need to do is to simply learn how to maintain good breathing habits, even when we experience that life goes against us. It doesn’t need to be harder than that. As our breathing habits get worse not only does our ability to recover diminish, but we also become tenser and spend more energy than the situation requires, which increases the perceived stress. It is like driving our car on the freeway with our parking brake slightly engaged while at the same time driving in low gear and giving and pressing the accelerator down all the way.
Sign up for the Breath Hour-webinar
To inspire people to improve their daily breathing habits we arrange a 30-minute free Breath Hour event: Discover the Power of your Breath and become ENERGY SMART. No equipment is necessary except for a chair to sit on or somewhere to lie down, for those who want to do that, Internet access and a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone to connect to the webinar.
We begin by talking a bit about how improved breathing habits can make you become more energy smart, and then we finish off with a breathing and relaxation exercise – Coming Home. It is a perfect opportunity to participate in the event at your workplace, at school, or at home in order to get a moment of recovery and relaxation.
Other examples of Breath Hour activities
Maybe you want to arrange your own Breath Hour activity at your workplace, in your school, with unemployed youngsters, homeless, refugees and so forth. A few examples of activities you can do, individually or in a group, during Breath Hour, is to:
- Sing together. When we sing together we are automatically breathing in pace.
- Meditate and breathe consciously. The conscious breath is a fantastic tool to make us become more present here and now.
- Light a candle, reflect, relax, do nothing.
- Do yoga or other body exercises with a focus on breathing. Apart from the physical aspect it also leads to increased inner calmness.
- Stop talking. If you want to you can tape your mouth so that you cannot talk.
- Breathe two and two while sitting back to back.
- Exercise/bike/walk/jog while at the same time breathing consciously.
- Use the Relaxator.
- Breathe two and two while looking each other in the eyes.
The World Breathing Day February 3rd
The World Breathing Day occurs each year on February 3rd and was instituted in 2012 in order to raise the awareness of the importance our breathing patterns. Few people reflect about the way they breathe until they experience breathing problems. The purpose of World Breathing Day is to spread knowledge about how we can all use our breath to feel a little better – already in our next breath.
– We want more people to experience how they are breathing and understand that we carry with us an important key to better health within says Susanne Hovenäs, initiator of the World Breathing Day.