“Then God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’
Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.” Genesis 1:6-8
This firmament mentioned in the very first book of the Bible is the atmosphere we breathe. And one of the most important parts of our atmosphere is oxygen.
Oxygen is the very first need of our body - without it we die in minutes. Oxygen deprivation can cause brain damage. Although the brain is only 2% of the total body weight it uses an amazing 25% of the body’s oxygen intake. Can you see how important oxygen is to our thinking and reasoning? No wonder we get drowsy in stuffy rooms!
But what happens when we breathe? Well, correct breathing increases the amount of oxygen in our lungs, so the red blood cells pick up the oxygen and plenty of oxygen is available for our cells. And the more oxygen getting to our cells, the more efficient our cells will be in their processes. And we will be healthier.
Correct breathing also expels waste carbon dioxide from the body - as long as the air we breathe is clean!
So we need good breathing habits, clean fresh air, and well ventilated rooms 24 hours a day to recharge our minds, bodies and spirits.
What are some bad breathing habits?
Hunched posture while standing, walking or sitting can cause shallow, incorrect breathing.
Desk workers and students need to sit with the spine straight, bottom tucked well back in the chair and feet on the floor. Shoulders and neck should be relaxed. This sounds simple to do, but takes time to learn if you are used to hunching over your work, or crossing your legs at the knee.
If you are sitting and working for long hours without breaks, your work may be suffering. Try taking frequent breaks to breathe fresh air deeply - and you will be surprised at how your learning and efficiency increases.
"If you are sitting and working for long hours without breaks,
your work may be suffering. Try taking frequent breaks to
breathe fresh aire deeply - and you will be surprised at
how your learning and efficiency increases."
When you stand or walk, begin by straightening your shoulders for a few minutes at a time - remember it takes time to change old habits. Then walk with the top of your head as high as it can go. This will lift your chest and ribs and make correct breathing easier.
Breathing correctly is very difficult if you are wearing tight clothing. Try not to wear clothes which leave marks on your skin when you take the clothes off. If you see any marks, then your breathing and circulation could be restricted!
If you, like most people breathe shallow breaths, you are using the upper parts of your lungs only. Then wastes build up in your lower lungs. We need to breathe deeply to fill our lungs with air.
You have probably heard this plenty of times, but take a minute to try this exercise:
Breathe in deeply through your nose. Your stomach should go out as you inhale (correct breathing will not make you look fat). While you contemplate the feeling of the air travelling down into your lungs, hold the air for a count to 20. Now let the air out through your mouth. Your stomach should go down again. Relax to a count of 10.
You can practise this deep breathing exercise several times, about two or three times a day.
So for a clear mind, happy disposition and healthy body we need good ventilation 24 hours a day. As well as a fresh air current blowing through your home or work place during the day, try and get fresh air in the room you sleep in at night. Of course, this may not always be possible. Don’t worry. Do the best you can right now.
The quality of the air we breathe helps a lot. You probably know air around us carries electrical charges - either negative or positive.
Negatively charged air is near waterfalls, lakes, rivers, beaches and bush. You can almost imagine breathing in that kind of air! Negatively charged air refreshes the body and uplifts the spirit.
Positively charged air is polluted or stale air. Some people say the air near or around computers is positively charged. Pollution is caused by crowded cities and motorways, and stale air results from lack of ventilation. But did you know positively charged air can cause anxiety, depression, insomnia and headaches?
So try and get as much clean, fresh air as you can each day.
If you live in a large city, here is a very good reason to go for walks in parks, or arrange an outing to a forest or a beach. Read more>>