Breathing is of course good for you but few people understand the benefits of gently breathing in and out through your nose.
Your mouth is designed for eating, speaking and emergency breathing. Your nose is designed for smelling and breathing. Breathing through your nose is more relaxing, helps to clean, warm and hydrate the air before it hits your lungs.
Your nose also adds Nitric Oxide to the breath that is proven to improve flow in the airways and blood vessels. In addition, your diaphragm moves up and down as you breath into the bottom of your lungs, which in turn massages your internal organs and aids digestion etc.
Breathing out through your nose helps to retain sufficient CO2 in your blood vessels to oxygenate every cell in your body, including your muscles. This helps you feel more balanced as you walk and have a positive effect on many health conditions.
Information is available from the NHS on the internet e.g. breathing exercises for stress can be found here:
The diagram shows a typical good night’s 7-hour sleep that is so restorative when you have a mixture of deep, restorative sleep and dreaming / REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, with a gentle progression between them.
In REM sleep, it is important to have continuity in your environment e.g. consistent lighting, temperature and noise. If everything is the same when you re-enter REM sleep, you will drop into deeper sleep once more without waking. If things are different you will awake in an alert state to explore the difference, ruining your good night’s sleep.
Deep sleep enables your body to restore and according to recent research “washes” your brain from the day’s activities.
If you snore you are unlikely to be able to retain this flow, waking you and your partner up at random times during the night. Keeping your mouth shut and sleeping on your side minimises snoring. For more information on snoring click here
Visualisation is a technique that can help you see things in a positive light – whether you think you can or you think you can’t do something you will probably be right.
It involves creating positive mental images about the future, calling upon our imagination to shape success.
Visualization is commonly used by athletes to help in their performance, so that they can picture success and therefore have the confidence to win, for example visualising the perfect golf swing and trajectory of the ball.
For those who are less able and recovering from inactivity or health challenges, visualisation is invaluable. For example, if you have been ill and find it difficult to even get out of a chair, work on visualising getting up out of the chair several time, in the pause after an out-breath, without moving a muscle, until it feels effortless.
When you come to do it for real you will find it much easier.