Step 5 Oxygen - Fresh Air
Oxygen is the most essential external component of our survival. We can survive more than a month without food and more than a week without water, but after 3 minutes without air we start dying. Many diseases and ailments are caused by low oxygenation, including sleep disorders and mental functioning.
When we are stressed or inactive, our breathing becomes shallow, and less oxygen gets to the brain and other organs and more carbon dioxide remains in the body. This leads to brain fog, fatigue, and even memory loss. Taking deep breaths helps tone down the sympathetic nervous system and encourages the body’s natural relaxation response by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. More oxygen is distributed throughout the body and more carbon dioxide is eliminated. This means that more oxygen reaches the brain, encouraging normal, healthy function.
Deep breathing exercises include three parts:
1) Inhaling deeply through the nose for a count of 5;
2) holding the breath for a count of 5;
3) exhaling through the mouth for a count of 8.
While deep breathing is very helpful, it is not a substitute for exercise, which accomplishes the same outcomes and more.
Another factor to consider, is the quality of the air we breathe. According to the EPA, our indoor environment is between two and five times more toxic than the outdoor environment. This is caused by inadequate ventilation, tobacco smoke, mold, household cleaning products, air fresheners and toxic building materials like asbestos or lead paint. In order to improve the quality of the air you breathe:
- Avoid smoking or smoke filled room
- Check your windows and ensure free flowing air.
- Use environmentally friendly and organic products as far as possible
- Replace toxic building materials and opt for hardwood floors where possible to eliminate carpets
- Get rid of mold – call in professionals who use green methods
- Invest in broad-leafed green houseplants. God’s air filters are the most effective.