This tip might not sound vital to writing a NYT Bestseller, but it should be at the TOP of your list. But what if I told you deep breathing would help you to write a better book?
Here’s the truth: Deep, full breathing is one of THE BEST things you can do for your body. Period.
Here’s why deep breathing is so important to your health and your writing life:
1) When you do not take a deep breath, the air at the bottom of your lungs can’t get flushed out. This stale air circulates back into your system, but essentially, it’s “dirty” air that hasn’t been fully oxygenated. Therefore, your body can’t detoxify and feed your body’s cells like it optimally should. And YOUR BRAIN can't function optimally.
POOR BRAIN FUNCTION = LESS CREATIVITY= LESS AWESOME WRITING
2) Deep breathing moves your lymph fluid in your body. Lymph is the fluid that surrounds your cells, brings nutrients to the cells, and carries away toxins and dead matter from the cells. You must keep your lymph fluid moving.
POOR LYMPH FLUID MOVEMENT= LESS ENERGY= FALLING ASLEEP AT YOUR COMPUTER
There are only two ways to move lymph fluid throughout the body: via physical activity (aka, exercise) and deep, diaphragmatic breath. Here’s the thing: You HAVE to do these two things to move your lymph, because there is no autonomic system that does it for you (unlike our hearts, which automatically pumps our blood.)
3) Deep breathing calms you down, slows your heart rate, and lowers your blood pressure. Overall, deep breathing just makes you feel better, and it’s essential to the health of your body.
DEEP BREATHING= CALM HEARTRATE= ABLE TO ENDURE THAT INTENSE ACTION SCENE YOU'RE WRITING
Not allowing your lungs to take in a deep breath is like someone putting a full plate of food before you at the table when you’re really hungry, and then taking it away after just a few bites and saying “that’s enough, you’ll just have to make do.” You don’t want that for your breathing!
SO, HOW DO YOU TAKE A NICE, FULL DEEP BREATH? It’s simple. Breathe in as deep as you can. Expand your lungs and ribs to the sides. Expand your lungs and ribs in the front and the back of your body. Let your belly expand. When you can’t hold in any more air, pause for a moment. Then, slowly let all the air out of your lungs. At the very end, push any remaining air out of your lungs by contracting your belly and forcing it out in order to empty the lungs fully. There! You did it! A full, deep breath! Didn't it feel good?
Start with just ten deep breaths a day, and work up to it until you are doing it often throughout your day of writing. Here's to deep breathing and better writing! xxheidi
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