to meet yourself with unconditional compassion and love
When was the last time you took a breath with awareness?
Learning to breathe consciously is as simple as placing your attention on your breath.
Try noticing how you are breathing right now.
Does your breath feel smooth and full or tight and shallow?
When we’re stressed our lungs take in less oxygen. This causes the body to tighten.
When we’re anxious or worried the breathing pattern is usually pretty fast which turns on the sympathetic nervous system, our fight or flight response that turns on our stress hormones.
Over time the excess hormone production is taxing on the body and can lead to fatigue and other health issues.
The opposite is true in a relaxed state where our breathing patterns are slower and deeper.
Breathing with awareness engages the parasympathetic nervous system, the one that is in charge of calming us down. This has a positive impact on our health by keeping our stress hormones in check and calming our minds.
The amazing thing is that the heart and lungs can send feedback to the brain and essentially convince the brain that things are calm and peaceful, even when there are still stressful circumstances or anxiety provoking thoughts circulating in the mind.
This is especially important right now when internal and external stressors are often constant even though we are in no physical danger.
Many of us are stressed about the never ending stream of email in our inboxes and the feeling of having to check our phones first thing in the morning.
For some of us, anxiety or stress can cause a freeze response, which is typically marked by a fast and short inhale that is held until the body has to release the carbon dioxide.
This type of breath response can reinforce the physical feeling of stress.
Breath work is an excellent practice to stop that cycle in its tracks.
I invite you to just breathe with me.
The breath is a tool that’s always with us, accessible at any time for calm, balance, and presence of mind.
It just requires practice and attention.
The breath is a gateway to fully inhabit your body, feel present within yourself, to feel anchored to the earth, to be able to self-regulate, and to know deeply that you have the ability to trust your inner wisdom.
Becoming curious about your breath is the quickest way to shift your emotions, thoughts, and vibration.
Through neuroscience research we are learning that a number of nerve cells in the brain stem connect breathing to different states of mind.
This research is significant because it confirms what thinkers, healers, and mystics have known for ages: we have the power to shift our thinking by changing the way we breathe.
And since it’s already common knowledge that our thoughts affect our overall health, energy, and well-being, it’s safe to conclude that changing our breathing can have a global effect on our entire body and our life.