I love to sigh. In fact, I love it so much I do it several times per day.
In the beginning of our relationship my husband used to ask my what was wrong. I had to convince him nothing was the matter.
I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t bored, and I wasn’t frustrated. I explained to him how sighing made me sink into the present moment. I explained to him how it made me enjoy that moment more. I could hear his thoughts. ‘Total nutcase.’
Various studies have been done when it comes to sighing and it seems like science is backing me (aka the nutcase ; ) up. Apparently the body uses sighs to make the lungs work more efficiently. When we breathe in one state, depth or rhythm for too long, our lungs become stiff. As a result they are not able to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in the most optimal of ways. By deeply inhaling we stretch the lung’s air sacs and create flexibility and vitality in that area. When we deeply exhale we feel a sense of relief. We let go of (worries about) the future and the past. We become present and at ease.
You could see sighing as a way to reset your system. It resets the physiology of the lungs and enhances the processing of information in the whole of your respiratory system. To put it simple: every sigh is powerful medicine to your lungs. But sighing does not just reset your lungs. It resets your mind and emotions too.
Sighing is like pressing a pause button. For a moment the world is still and actual. The sigher sinks into the sigh, centers and reconnects. Sighing is like enjoying a five second mini vacation, retreat or cleanse. It makes you process thoughts and emotions better. It creates emotional balance and mental clarity.
I am sure I am not the only one sighing. Yet a lot of people sigh solely when they experience negative emotions like annoyance or weariness. They do not sigh to celebrate their happiness, slow down or enhance their mental state. They sigh to express their frustration. Their sigh has a slightly negative connotation, yet it could so easily be used positively.
We could sigh when we are totally content. Our sigh would be a celebration of that moment of satisfaction so we’d experience it even more vividly, consciously and intensely. We could sigh when there’s a lot of exciting going on. Our sigh would take us on a little holiday from the business and speed of our everyday life. We could sigh when we need to make a quick decision. Our sigh would help us to instantly reconnect to ourselves and consequently choose that which is in line with who we are and what we stand for.
I do happy sighs. And below you’ll find my little guide on how to do happy sighs too.
Hope this practice will make you enjoy life more, like it does mine!
'Sighing is like pressing a pause button. For a moment the world is still and actual. The sigher sinks into the sigh, centers and reconnects.'
For example, whenever you feel happiness, pressured, foggy, overwhelmed, insecure or doubtful.
Take a deep inhale through your nose until your lungs feel totally full.
Open your mouth only ever so slightly, and breathe our long until all air is out.
You don’t need to make a sound and if it feels better to exhale through your nose and keep your mouth closed it is also fine.
Just make sure you feel ‘sucked into the breath’ and fully present. Make sure the sigh gives you a deep sense of relief afterward.
Try practice sighing consciously (when happy, stressed, in doubt, swamped etcetera) for at least a full week. It will eventually become so natural that you won’t have to deliberately think about it. It will go automatic and will once again be part of your instinct.
€ 0.00. All you need is five seconds of your time, several times per day.
Increases lung health
Helps to improve breathing capacity
Helps those who are short of breath, like with asthma
Helps to process emotions
Helps to process thoughts and ideas
Helps to make clear decisions
Connects you to the present moment
… (add your findings in the comments below)