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When my boys were little, we adopted a family motto from the pages of one of their favorite book series, Dinotopia by James Gurney. That motto echoed all throughout the story:  “Breathe deep. Seek peace.” For us, it was a funny little quip that we would say to each other that really meant something along the lines of, ‘Chill out, dude!’ But, as much as we loved to use it to tease, I’ve found that this is actually an excellent motto to live by!

I recently read a book called the “Slow Down Diet” by Marc David. He quotes extensive research that suggests that when we breathe deeply before and during meals, our bodies actually digest food at a much higher rate. If breathing can affect our digestion, just imagine what a few deep breaths can do to our conversations, our concentration, and our overall well-being!

Deep breathing isn’t just for swimmers and snorkelers — we all can benefit from slowing down, and taking deep breaths.Take a few right now, and see what you notice.