How and What we Breathe Affects our Energy Levels

Of things that go unnoticed

These days I have been observing my son’s falling energy levels with increasing worry and exasperation. If he is not complaining about being too tired too quickly, he is feeling unmotivated to do the things that he would otherwise do.

Initially, I had tried to shoo away the problem symptoms as a being a part of the whole growing up thingie. But as my son’s energy levels continue to play truant, continuing its non-cooperative stance, I decided to analyze the issue further.

My son is OCD-ish with his healthy habits. He sticks to his “once a month junk-food” zone, exercises every day, and is a stickler for routine. Did I happen to mention that the kid is 12 years old, and his behavior is pretty weird for a 12-year-old.

The point is, with all this “exemplary” behavior, my son should not be displaying this unreasonable measure of energy loss.

So I poked around energy a bit and here’s what I found.

We grow like how the plants grow

Just like how the plants need the right measure of soil, water, Co2 and sunlight to make energy, our body too requires its measure of food, water, oxygen and sunlight to create its energy.

I figured that since my son was getting his dosage of food, water, and sunlight, it was the oxygen that was the problem.

You see, my son has an enlarged adenoids. This means that he is spending more energy just on the activity of breathing than you and I do. This also means that a part of his energy which should be spent on pursuing his interests, is being channelized towards keeping his breathing going. Hence his loss of energy.

That is why understanding the way we breathe is crucial to understanding our energy levels.

Figuring out our breath-energy obstructers

Here’s where we take a deep breath to work out the indicators of breath related issues.

Sleep: The greatest indicator of healthy breathing is the presence of a good night’s sleep, or the presence of its absence. How well-rested are you? Is your sleep smooth or broken? How often do you snore, and in what intensity? More importantly, how do you feel when you wake up? Answering questions like this could help us gain more insights into our breathing patterns. For instance, even from the time that he was 2 years old, my son was a loud snorer, and heavy breather during his sleeping hours. While both indicators have fallen to a minimum, the child still sleeps with his mouth open.

That is why it helps to pay a lot of attention to the way we sleep.

Shortness of breath: Of course, the more often and with greater degree we prod around for our breaths, the lesser the energy our body is able to create.

Internal disturbances: Energy creation through our breath does not limit itself to the act of breathing in oxygen, it is also about the conversion of this oxygen into energy. Which means that the entire respiratory system is involved in the process. Everything from the lungs to the windpipe could be obstructing the flow of oxygen into the blood.

External blocks: There could be nothing other than the quality of air that we breathe that could be obstructing our energy flow. If a class full of kids don’t stay energized through their sessions, it could be because of the enormous amount of carbon-di-oxide circling within the classroom. With no outlets for fresh oxygen, the children are only breathing in each other. Likewise, the pollution that is the urban jungle exerts continuous pressure on our breathing and breath processing capabilities. Which means, at least half the world’s population does not have the kind of energy it should otherwise be experiencing.

How do we remove the blocks to our breath energy?

Apart from working on resolving any internal defects that could be affecting the way in which our energy is getting used up, we could do other things that can help define how our energy should be used.

Let the right ones in: Kamal Meattle is this man from India who beat the capital city’s intense pollution levels by growing clean air, right inside his home and the 50,000 sq ft office space that he works in. Apart from reporting a 34% reduction in respiratory issues, and 24% fewer headaches, the people working in this space have also recorded an astonishing 20% increase in productivity levels. And productivity, as we all know, is the outcome of our energy.

There is no doubt that growing more plants will contribute towards increasing our energy levels. While the plants breathe in human waste, us – humans breathe in plant waste – it is a win-win situation, after all.

Listen to the feeling: As someone who works from home, I am regularly accosted with the suffocation of spending a great deal of time indoors. The air that we breathe when we are inside the house can get just as poisonous as the air that we breathe outside. And this is simply because of the high levels of indoor air circulation. The minute we begin to feel this suffocation, it is better to step outside. A feeling of suffocation, even through the absence of any external mechanisms, can be an indicator of lower energy levels.

Take time to just breathe: Paying attention to our breath can guide us towards understanding the way our breath works for us. It is also a great way to take a break and slow down our thoughts and actions. So, every once in a while, it does help to close our eyes and notice the breath that winds itself into our body.

Turn towards the bigger picture

We are a sum of many things, and that is why we need to see the picture as a whole just as much as we need to pay attention to the details. While walking is a healthy exercise, walking in a park or pathway filled with the lush of green is the wise way to walk.

The bigger picture here is that it is oxygen that keeps our blood pumping. And it is the pumping blood that retains the charge in our energy. So, it does us good to pay attention to how we breathe and connect it to our energy levels.

Here’s to breathing right!

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