While it’s known that diet and exercise are important to overall wellness - as well as many other known factors like mindset, relationships, and sense of purpose - there are more simple initial steps that should be at least equally considered. The amount and intensity of information out on the internet can be both confusing and time consuming. Let’s simplify this a little.
What is the most important first step to consider on your wellness journey?
That’s right. Believe it or not. It’s air. You can only go a few minutes without oxygen before your brain and body start to malfunction and you eventually die. We all know this but it’s often overlooked when considering our health and strategies to better wellness.
Consider this, though: If air is so important that you can only go a few minutes without it before DEATH, then do you think that the quality of air may be important, too? Not only the outside quality but also the inside quality.
This goes further than outdoor and indoor quality. I’m talking about outside your body quality and inside your body quality. In other words, are you taking slow deep diaphragmatic breaths or are you stressed beyond reason and barely feeling like your head is above water let alone consciously breathing?
Let’s do a simple exercise to see where your breathing is at in this moment:
Place one hand on your chest and the other on your lower abdomen below your belly button. Close your eyes and just breathe normally for a few breaths. Then take a big deep breath.
Did the top hand move the most or the bottom?
When you are taking deep diaphragmatic breaths, your bottom hand will push out as you take a deep breath in and the top hand on your chest will barely move.
Now let’s try something different and give you a simple strategy to breathe easier and bring in more life-enriching oxygen:
Again, place one hand on your chest and the other on your lower abdomen. This time, put a little pressure on your abdomen with your lower hand and just breathe normally. After a few breaths, you should automatically go into deeper diaphragmatic breathing. Time this for one minute and see how you feel at the end. As your mind wanders, which it will, just bring your thoughts and attention back to listening to your breathing.
Notice a difference? Now imagine going all sorts of wild and crazy and doing it for TWO minutes. Now imagine doing this several times per day. You get the point. It's simple, healthy, effective, and everyone can do it. No excuses.
This simple mediation can help you calm the mind and expand your lungs further to bring in more oxygen to your body. The oxygen your body needs to not only survive but help you thrive.
Other considerations would be indoor and outdoor air quality. Open your windows often to air out your home and get outside as much as possible. I also find that a humidifier in drier climates or seasons are very beneficial as well as a dehumidifier during the summer humid season in NY. Lastly, diffuse pure essential oils from Young Living to help you relax and breathe deeper.
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Jihan Thomas is a holistic life coach in New York City who brings a refreshingly simple, common sense approach to wellness, success, and life. She believes fulfilled people live more passionate lives and helps her clients thrive through food, movement, mindset, community, and a good dose of essential oils.
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