A life force.
The single action that indicates whether a person is dead or alive.
Unconscious or conscious.
Anxious or calm.
We spend the majority of our life breathing without giving this critical act any thought at all.
Yet thinking about your breaths can help you bring much awareness to the rest of your functioning.
Learning how to take careful, measured, conscious breaths can help you relax, focus, or appreciate living in the here and now.
If you've ever experienced an anxiety attack, shortness of breath, an asthma attack, or even gone for a long run and felt breathless at the end, then you have some idea of how your breathing is an indication of your wellbeing.
Conscious breath work is also important from the perspective of anger management and works in a very similar fashion to breathing to alleviate high levels of anxiety.
When you find yourself reaching high levels of anger and/or anxiety, that's when you should take a few moments to do some careful breathing.
Begin first by noticing the way you breathe naturally.
Pay attention to how your chest rises and falls and how your belly fills with air and then tightens.
Then start to notice what happens when you take control over your breathing.
How you can control it, inhaling and exhaling at your own pace.
Breath in and out through your nose, and then in and out through your mouth, and then in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Notice all of the variations.
Then, in an effort to calm yourself down, breath in slowly and hold that breath for four counts and then breath out slowly, again counting to four.
If four is too difficult to begin with, start with a count of one and then make your way up to four counts, or even five or six.
You can do this breathing exercise sitting or standing, with your eyes open or shut.
Try it in different positions and weigh the outcomes.
Make sure that each time you're comfortable and not pushing yourself too hard.