Manage Trauma, Stress, Anxiety and More with This Powerful Breathing Technique and Exercise
The breath. From the second we let out our very first cry, until our final moments on earth; we tend to use this incredible gift without any thought. Yet, the power of conscious breathing is truly remarkable.
Are you often feeling overwhelmed and stressed out? Perhaps you find yourself feeling tired and lethargic, having digestion issues, or struggle to switch your brain off and fall asleep at night? These common issues (and many more) can be mitigated and managed by your breath; a tool that each and every one of us hold within ourselves.
We breathe from 25.000 to 30.000 times every single day. This is a huge number that can work for you or against you, depending on your breathing pattern. In this article, Conscious Breathing teacher from X-hale, Carlos de la Rúa, shares the many powers of Conscious Breathing, and a simple exercise that you can do absolutely anytime and anywhere.
“Conscious Breathing is mindfulness in action which activates your internal pharmacy. It brings you to the Here and Now.”
The Powers of Conscious Breathing
Reduces Symptoms Associated with Insomnia, Anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Conscious Breathing relaxes the nervous system and helps to reduce symptoms associated with insomnia, stress, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
With its ability to reduce those symptoms, Conscious Breathing has been known to be able to diminish the need, or in some cases, completely eliminate the need for antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs which only decrease the symptoms, but don’t necessarily target the cause.
Promotes positive emotions
A research study has shown that different emotional states are associated with distinct breathing patterns. The study found that when participants were anxious or afraid, their breathing was more quick and shallow. Happy participants, on the other hand, had slower and fuller breathing.
Even more interestingly, when a different group of participants were called in and instructed to breathe in patterns that they had observed previously (either quick and shallow or slow and full), participants’ started to feel the emotions that corresponded to the breathing pattern.
Findings from this study are a testimony to the fact that by simply manipulating your own breathing pattern, you are able to change your breathing pattern so that the breath works for you, as opposed to against you.
Enhance respiratory muscle
Breathing is one of the exercises that can be done to improve the function of the respiratory muscle. Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) is typically adopted to help individuals who suffer from conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Many also adopt RMT as part of their sports training, as studies have shown that doing so can increase endurance during cardiovascular exercise or sports activities too!
Increases focus and concentration
Research has found that focused breathing affects the level of Noradrenaline in your body. Noradrenaline is a hormone that, when at an optimal level, enhances your attention and overall brain health. Put simply, our attention and ability to focus are influenced by our breathing. By focusing on your breathing, it’s possible to optimise your attention, focus and concentration.
Boosts Immune Defence System
This is a more surprising degree of power that conscious breathing has been suggested to have. A research study found that when volunteers were exposed to a toxin that causes flu-like symptoms, those who underwent breathing training reported fewer flu-like symptoms than those who didn’t. The study concluded that breathing, to a limited extent, has the ability to improve immune responses.
Guides you to a deeper state of consciousness
Conscious breathing connects you with the here and now. It allows you to connect with your higher and true-self, in other words, who you really are, because you activate a spiritual awakening.
Improved Digestive Health
When we find ourselves caught in any stressful situations, our body experiences an immediate physical reaction: our heart beats faster and our breathing becomes more rapid. This “fight or flight” response prepares your body to either fight back or run away before the mind even has time to think about what it wants to do. This response causes blood to move from the gut to the larger muscle, which results in interfered digestion.
By taking slow, deep breaths and creating a “relaxation response” that calms the mind, you reduce muscle tension and stop the fight-or-flight response, ultimately improving your digestive health.
“ Conscious breathing synchronizes Heart, Mind and Lungs, creating the perfect internal harmony.”
A Step-by-step Breathing Exercise You Can Do Anytime and Anywhere
1. Sit up straight and in a comfortable position on the floor or a chair. Allow yourself to dedicate a few minutes to yourself, disconnecting from the busy external world.
2. Soften up your forehead, release any pressure on your jaw, relax your tongue and your neck. Check that your shoulder is free of any tension by raising them up and back down.
3. Close your eyes and place your left hand in your chest. Place the right on your belly.
4. Start getting in touch with your breath by feeling the air coming through your nostrils and into the lungs. Softly and smoothly, breathe through the nose counting to 5. At the top of your inhalation, take a short moment to hold the breath, then exhale for 5 counts through your nose.
5. After completing the exhalation, avoiding any pressure in your belly, hold your breath for another moment before you begin to repeat steps four and five again.
6. With every breath, bring your attention to your nostrils and the sensations that will be created every single moment. If a thought arises, acknowledge it and let it go. Thoughts are visitors, and this is your time.
7. Keep focused as you breathe for the next five to ten minutes. This short time to yourself is all you need to reap the many benefits listed above.
8. Upon finishing, keep your eyes closed as you transition back to your natural breathing. Observe any sensations, giving yourself some time to absorb and integrate the changes into your system.
Enjoy and keep breathing!
Interested in advancing your conscious breathing training? Breathe your way to a clear, peaceful mind, and a vibrant, healthy body in a guided conscious breathing class.
X-Hale’s Conscious Breathing classes are available every Wednesday at Core Collective Anson from 7.00-8.00pm. Click here to book yourself into a class.
Conscious breathing has a direct and instant effect on our system. Following the Breatheology Method, X-hale teaches different techniques to improve and heal the state of mind and body.
People often take their breath for granted, forgetting that is their primary source of contact with life itself. By learning conscious breathing, anyone is able to apply it on a daily basis to activate their own power and inner energy.
Click here for X-hale’s full bio.