The Importance of Breathing

self love Aug 03, 2023

Self care is the practice of taking action to preserve one's own health (Oxford Languages)

In life we get caught up with servitude to others, our kids, our parents, our jobs, as Islam teaches us to be selfless however there is also absolute importance to caring for our own wellbeing too.

It was reported by Aisha RA that the Prophet (SAW) said 'Verily your own self has rights over you, so fast, break your fast, pray and sleep' (Sunan Abi Dawud).

Have you ever addressed serving yourself, what would this look like? As soon as we serve ourselves, we can much more fully serve others, known as filling your own cup.

The Prophet (SAW) went to the Cave Hira regularly, the need for time to himself and reflection is key in taking away himself away from, others and a space to quieten the mind. 

Self-Care is not synonymous to being selfish or self-indulgence, it is taking care of yourself so you can be healthy and be well.

Self-care is part of the answer on how we can deal with our daily stressors, more and more people are struggling to unwind and switch off due to the constant pinging of technology from our phones.

Not one size fits all for self-care activities, we are all unique in our makeup, therefore our needs are also unique, it could be anything that gives you time to switch off from your daily run-around.

Most people associate self-care to booking something that may cost, therefore can become a back burner or an added task to your to do list - I'll do it later after pay day. Self-care doesn't have to be difficult, cost anything, or be time consuming at all. But what if self-care what something as simple as being at one with yourself and just spending time to take some deep breaths?

Our breath keeps us alive, but continuously happens without any thought of effort for most people. We breathe approximately 22,000 times a day and are powered by it!

We tend to shallow breathe which is when the air flow reaches the chest and notice this moving ... this shallow breathing sets off the sympathetic nervous system which activates fight or flight response, keeping your body in stress mode, this breathing pattern also creates tension in other parts of the body and can lead to a lot of everyday problems.

Deep breathing is when we breath into our lungs (not the chest) and where the abdomen expands. With one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach, start with a count to 3 to breath in down to the abdomen, feel your abdomen expand, hold for a count of 1 then breath out through the mouth for a count of 6, doing this for a minimum of 6 times can takes us out of sympathetic nervous system and into our parasympathetic nervous system which then activates our rest and restore response - this is where magic happens... helping you to feel relaxed just by taking the simple steps to breathing more deeply!

 The benefits of deep breathing are many, it can help decreases stress and increase calm, it can help you become more focused, slows the heart rate, increase endorphins the feel-good chemical, which also helps to combat pain. Improves the immune system as the blood becomes cleaner due to it being fully oxygenated, this also helps to carry and absorb nutrients more efficiently, lowers blood pressure, improves digestion, and improves posture!

When taking deep belly breaths, it may at first seem unnatural, however continuous implementation it can soon enough become the norm. Using this simple method to start your self-care routine can fulfil some of the rights your body has on you. With this intention, this can become an ibaadah, reap the rewards through deep breathing. 


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