Breath: The True Barometer of Your Health

Breath: The True Barometer of Your Health

The life force coursing through your body
manifests itself through your breath.

Breath is the foundation of everything, and everything begins with breath. Breath is the true barometer by which to measure your mental, physical, and emotional states: levels of anxiety, fitness, tightness, ease, or stress. The quality of your breath indicates how balanced and aligned the different systems of your body are at any given time.

We don’t pay much attention to this activity and do it automatically about 22,000 times a day, but as the satirical publication The Onion correctly pointed out in October 2017, “A report released by the National Institutes of Health found that breathing can extend a person’s lifespan by several decades... Steady inhaling, when combined with equal parts exhaling, promotes healthy brain function. Conversely, missing even one day of breath­ing can drastically reduce an otherwise healthy person’s life expectancy.”

Learning To Master Your Breath

When we learn how to master our breath we can be in control in every situation in life. Our daily routines are filled with small and big annoyances, and potential causes of anxiety. When we find ourselves in a “tight situation,” the natural tendency of the body is to stiffen, and the breath to become shallow or restricted. These are the hereditary responses of our survival mechanism: the fight, flight, or freeze instinct.

The solution for situations like these is to learn to do the opposite: breathe deeply and evenly. What you want to carry with you throughout life is the clear understanding that your breath is your personal domain, and no one can enter this private space uninvited. It is your castle, and the firm ground on which you can stand no matter how dangerous a certain situation might seem. Whatever negative circumstances we encounter, we can always draw inside, center ourselves, and regulate our breath—deep, steady, and free.

Here are some helpful mantras to carry in your mental toolkit and repeat silently to yourself when you face a tight situation:

* My strength is in my breath.

* When I control my breath, I control my life.

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* The oxygen of the whole world is available to me.

This last idea is especially useful. Realize that you’re never at a lack for oxygen. There’s always plenty of air around you to fill your lungs to full capacity, so you never feel deprived of breath or anxious for space or safety.

Following is a simple exercise which will help you develop mastery of your breath.

Note of caution: If you are pregnant, make sure that your condition allows you to do these deep breathing exercises.

Exercise: Mindful Breathing

The advantage of the following set is that it can be done anywhere and anytime, standing, sitting, walking, or lying on the floor. As you will see, you can also break it down to small segments, and do portions of it as you go about your daily activities.

Get comfortable and concentrate on your breath. Make sure it’s steady, even, and free.

Now inhale on the count of 5.

Exhale without count.

Inhale again on the count of 5.

Exhale without count.

Repeat this sequence three times.

Now inhale without count, and exhale on the count of 5.

Repeat this sequence three times.

Now inhale on the count of 10. (It helps here to use your fingers as visual reminders, so you don’t exert yourself mentally while focusing on your breath.)

Exhale without count.

Repeat this sequence three times.

Now inhale without count, and exhale on the count of 10.

Repeat this sequence three times.

Now slowly inhale on the count of 15, using your fingers to keep track. If counting to 15 proves too difficult, don’t worry about it; you will gradually build up to it. Instead count to 12.

Exhale without count.

Repeat this sequence three times.

Now inhale without count, and exhale on the count of 15 or 12. Repeat this sequence three times.

We will end this set now, and you can repeat it as many times as you like as you go about your daily routines.

Making Your Breath A Conscious Activity

The huge benefit of this little exercise is that it shows you that you are in control of your breath. The fact that you are able to pace your breath over the count of 5, and then 10, and then 12 or 15, is a clear sign that you have made your breath a conscious activity, which you can manage. It’s no longer something that simply happens. You have now made it a deliberate event that you can monitor and regulate in every situation in your life.

Because you can master your breath in the contained environment of this exercise, the more you practice these sets, the more you’ll be in charge of your breath in every circumstance you encounter.

When you face a crisis of some kind that threatens to get out of control, you can center on your breath—because this is something that you can control—and let your breath carry you to safety.

©2018 by Guy Joseph Ale. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission of New Page Books,
an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser.

Article Source

Buddha and Einstein Walk Into a Bar: How New Discoveries About Mind, Body, and Energy Can Help Increase Your Longevity
by Guy Joseph Ale

Buddha and Einstein Walk Into a Bar: How New Discoveries About Mind, Body, and Energy Can Help Increase Your Longevity by Guy Joseph AleUsing the latest breakthroughs in cosmology, neuroplasticity, superstring theory, and epigenetics, Buddha and Einstein Walk Into a Bar helps you to master your entire system of mind, body, and energy and provides practical tools to help you live your longest and healthiest life.

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book or download the Kindle edition.

About the Author

Guy Joseph AleGuy Joseph Ale was the founding president of Lifespan Seminar and vice president of Asia Pacific Association of Psychology. Ale was an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of human lifespan. Since 1992, his primary research had been the scientific, spiritual, behavioral, and evolutionary aspects of the awareness that we can sense how long we can live and the practical applications of this insight in daily circumstances. Ale received the Eminent in Psychological Science Award at the International Conference on Psychology 2011 "in recognition of invaluable contributions in the field of human lifespan." Ale lectured and conducted workshops in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He passed away in 2018. For more information, visit

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