There’s nothing more uplifting and healing than being in the presence of a newborn baby. They’re so full of life, joy, and wonder.

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While infants can serve as a bundle of love to brighten your day, there is actually much we can learn by observing these little ones.

Infants are the purest expression of human life. They are the closest example we have to a life driven solely by nature. In the beginning, there is no sense of self, no “I.” As we grow up we develop this ego, attach to it, and create a lot of unnecessary psychological suffering for ourselves.

Babies however fully accept their world, unaffected by the opinions of others. All they know is simply how to live. Just as animals are born with a wiring to act a certain way from birth (such as baby turtles knowing how to find the ocean from the beach and start swimming), all babies live from their innate human wiring.

Over time we learn to suppress our nature through social conditioning.

Babies give us the chance to remember what it means to act human. There are certain universal behaviors all infants share.

Take breathing for example.

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Observe a sleeping baby. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that all babies breathe in the same manner. Every breath is taken in slowly and deeply, straight into the belly.  The belly expands as far as it will go, and then slowly contracts.

As adults we stop breathing this way.  Most of our breathing is done unconsciously and shallowly through the chest. Perhaps the cause of this change is due to our attempts to suck in our stomachs to match the societal preference of flatter stomachs. Whatever the cause, we’re not breathing the right way and our health is suffering because of it.

Breathing properly through the belly is better for your health. Everyone knows that, but here’s why, from Harvard Medical School Health Publications:

“Shallow breathing hobbles the diaphragm’s range of motion. The lowest portion of the lungs- which is where many small blood vessels instrumental in carrying oxygen to cells reside- never gets a full share of oxygenated air.  That can make you feel short of breath and anxious.

Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange—that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. This type of breathing slows the heartbeat and can lower or stabilize blood pressure.”

Although it is highly unlikely that we can breathe consciously all day, or to continuously breathe from our belly, we should all start practicing and make a mental note to be more aware of our breath from time to time.

How to breathe like a baby

  1. Breathe deeply through the nose for four seconds, expanding the belly first and then the chest
  2. Hold for about two seconds
  3. Exhale and empty out the lungs completely for four seconds.

Photo Sources: 1, 2

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