Why proactive breath works.
In my previous newsletter I invited you to scan your body and observe your center of gravity, your breath and your shoulders. Today’s tool invites you to explore your breath and how it impacts on your daily experience.Do you ever find yourself holding your breath?
Growing up I frequently felt anxious and ungrounded. My breath was restricted, resulting in fatigue, muscular tension, lack of attention, often in a state of heightened alert and rarely present. This went on for decades. In fact I was under the impression this was normal!
After being introduced to conscious breath, I began to explore what it was all about. One of the functions our breath serves is to inform the nervous system of our experience: am I safe or in danger? Do I respond or react? As a tool, breath invites us to self connect, check in. It is like an interior massage, that brings awareness to any tension and rigidity stored in the body.
Through exercising conscious breathing, at first it felt mechanical, but gradually I began to sense shifts. My habitual state of panic and disconnect was turning into ownership, a new solidity and a willingness to stay present. My breathing patterns were changing too. By directing my attention and focusing on the breath, I was able to slow down and deepen my sense of safety as new insights began to emerge. I could at will, calm down and make choices instead of reacting out of the habitual fear and discomfort.
BREATH is the invisible connector that ties our conscious and subconscious reality. During our sleep cycle, it becomes deeper and more relaxed. As our day begins, we get stimulated and our breath consumption frequency increases, raising the heart rate and internal activities throughout the body.
Given the fast pace of our lives and the constant bombardment of messages and cues from our surroundings, it is important to have tools that help us ground in our experience. Proactive breath practice, vacillates our reactive, hypersensitive state, setting us up so we can slow down and make healthy choices.
Proactive breathing exercise:
- Place one of your hands on your belly.
- Inhale through the nose filling your abdomen like a balloon (notice your hand moving forward)
- Exhale the breath with an open mouth (wide like a lion), use a mirror and pay attention to your mouth. Is it wide open or barely open? Send the air across the room.
Repeat several times for 30 – 60 seconds daily.
Notice: are you filing your chest or your abdomen? Often our breathing pattern is reversed – we fill our chest first and IF we have any breath left we direct it down towards our abdomen. Focus on reversing the order. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. focus your attention on filling the latter first. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen immediately. It takes time and practice to change a habit.
The act of breathing is the basis of contraction and expansion, ebb and flow or holding and releasing. Discover your patterns:
- Are you more comfortable inhaling or exhaling?
- Is your breath fluid, continuous or restricted?
- Can you keep your attention on the breath or do you get distracted by your thoughts?
Practical application: When experiencing tension, anxiety, pain or simply out of control, take a proactive breath and restore your balance – no medication, no free fall into suppression. This is just the beginning.
I’d love to hear about what you found out through this exercise. If you’d like feedback, we can schedule a free call to discuss how your body responds to this exercise and how working together could benefit you. Simply reply to this email and lets continue the transformation you just started by simply checking in.