“To control the breathing is to control the mind. With different patterns of breathing, you can fall in love, you can hate someone, you can feel the whole spectrum of feelings just by changing your breathing”. – Marina Abramovic
Breathing is something that we often take for granted even though oxygen is the most vital component to keeping your body alive.
There are many benefits to breathing properly such as increased energy, as well as mental focus and clarity, which is really important in our fast-paced world.
Remember this important fact because it is vital to your health and well-being.
You can go weeks without food. Days without water, but only a few minutes or less without oxygen.
I first dabbled in holistic healing over a decade ago and one of the first things that I learned about was breathing exercises.
Breathing exercises are a way to train you mind and lungs to absorb oxygen into the body.
Relaxation breathing is a simple way to focus your mind while at the same time achieving a calming feeling within your body. As well as helping to focus your mind, breathing consciously can also help to reduce anxiety.
It really is a great exercise for anxiety and may even help to get your asthma under control too.
Proper breathing is a form of relaxation meditation and will not only make you feel better, but will give you a feeling of self-empowerment.
Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise
My favorite diaphragmatic breathing exercise goes like this:
Breathe in for 4 seconds.
Hold it for 8 seconds
Exhale for 4 seconds.
Do this at least 3 times in a row taking a break in between sets in the beginning, 3 times a day.
You won’t believe how much better that you feel. Also, play around with the number sequences until you find what is comfortable for you.
I find that sometimes my exhale is a lot longer than my inhale so make sure that you get out all the bad air.
Another trick is not to force out the exhale but rather gently control it on the way out.
I prefer to think of it as a way of bringing in good energy by breathing in.
Holding it so that I can absorb all the good energy and then exhaling is my way of removing accumulated bad energy.
I have also experimented with the exhale part similarly to blowing out birthday candles. Just make sure you are not doing anything while doing the breathing exercises.
The reason that we need to do breathing exercises is because we live in a fast paced world that we almost always have to be ready.
This doesn’t apply so much to younger or older folks as much even though it may.
When we get stressed or overwhelmed we tend to hold our breath or breath very shallow.
This causes a lack of oxygen to the body and ultimately to the brain. The results of shallow breathing is increased stress and fatigue and sometimes panic.
Some benefits of deep breathing exercises would be lowering blood pressure, soothing heart conditions, and helps with insomnia, depression, anxiety and abnormally high heart rate.
The best way to learn how to do deep breathing exercises would be to lay down on the floor on your back.
Place a book on your stomach and as you breath in and out the book should go up and down. This is known as diaphragmatic breathing.
People who are prone to panic attacks and hyper-ventilation are most likely breathing in a shallow way.
I recommend in the beginning that you do the breathing exercises first thing in the morning. Who needs coffee when you have oxygen.
Also breathing exercises causes your metabolism to go up which can help with keeping those unwanted pounds off of our body.
This is why cardio-exercises are so beneficial for helping us lose weight.
Meditation and yoga are other great ways that allow us to control our breathing so you may also want to check into these options as well.
The key here is focused and concentrated breathing. Whatever form you choose to do it in is up to you.
“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Why you need to learn to calm yourself
Biological stress is the body’s failure to respond to emotional or physical threats appropriately. Stress is caused not only by physically dangerous situations, it is also caused by things that are perceived as a threat to one’s social or mental well being.
Since our minds have shifted from a primarily biologically focused species to a more socially focused one, psychological stressors will have far more of an effect on us than other species.
And given the way society has been built with severe social and economic strains, it’s no wonder stress has reached epidemic proportions.
Stress symptoms include state of alarm, stimulation of the adrenal gland, resistance to immediate surroundings, muscular tension, irritability, lack of concentration, increased blood pressure, heart fluttering, elevated heart rate, headaches, and in the long term exhaustion.
The negative health effects of stress have been well documented for years.
The more we learn about the relationship between stress and health, the more clear it becomes that we must make stress reduction and relief a priority.
We can no longer afford to ignore the dangers of stress and their effect on our quality of life.
If left unchecked it can actually contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, eventual heart failure, stroke, and even death.
Unfortunately it’s not easy to relieve stress. The best most can hope for is a simple distraction from the day’s problems in the form of television or internet browsing.
But does this actually help us relax, or is it just yet another stressor?
Relaxation should be something that soothes our senses and puts us in a place of peace where our tension melts away and our reserves of strength are replenished.
The problem arises when we attempt to relax, but our mind stubbornly insists on thinking about work, problem solving, future confrontation, and every other problem it can dream up.
The waking mind is focused on problem solving.
That’s where the Brain entrainment program comes in. With the brainwave entrainment program, your mind will tune in and remember how good it feels to be truly relaxed.
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