By Kathryn Corbin
“Emotional and physical states can be altered by changing the breathing pattern.”– Wilhelm Reich
If you’re breathing, you’re alive, right? Would you then agree that – if you’re breathing fully and consciously – you’re fully and consciously alive? Try an experiment right now. As you read this article, try breathing slowly and deeply – ideally through your nose and from your diaphragm – and see if you feel just a little bit better when you’re finished reading. I’m betting you will.
Andrew Weil, M.D. and many others in the healing community acknowledge the therapeutic value of conscious breathing. In fact, hundreds of studies have confirmed the effectiveness of the breath in alleviating both physical and psychological issues.
Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., a true believer in the healing power of the breath, has used it himself and with clients for decades to relieve anxiety, depression, fear, anger, sadness; treat fatigue, asthma, addictions, post-traumatic stress, chronic pain, headaches; increase stamina, concentration, overall fitness; and open to a richer, fuller experience of life itself.
You may be aware that you can go without food for several weeks and without water for several days, but did you know you can only survive for 4 to 5 minutes without breathing?
[Remember to B-R-E-A-T-H-E as you read.]
Here are six ways you can literally B-R-E-A-T-H-E your way to a better life:
*Conscious Breathing Enhances Overall Well-Being. After a session of deep breathing, you’ll have access to better feeling thoughts. You’ll know in your heart that all is well. Try this: As you exhale, imagine breathing out all forms of resistance, discomfort and stress. As you inhale, imagine breathing in well-being, health, vitality, clarity, ease and flow. Aaaah!
*Conscious Breathing Connects You with Source. The process of breathing is much more than a physical function. As you breathe deeply, you release resistance and your vibration rises until it finds resonance and alignment with the vibration of your Source.Many of the world’s major spiritual traditions have employed breathing techniques to deepen spiritual experiences.
*Conscious Breathing Quiets Your Mind. By focusing on your breathing, you deactivate resistant thought. Breathing deeply allows your body, mind and spirit to find its natural balance, its natural state of well-being.
“Fear is excitement without the breath.” – Fritz Perls, M.D.
*Conscious Breathing Relieves Stress. When you’re stressed out, your breathing tends to be shallow and in your chest. When you’re relaxed, your breathing naturally slows down and drops farther into your belly, becoming deeper and more nurturing. Try this: When you feel tense, anxious or fearful, consciously choose to take deeper, slower breaths and you’ll feel the tension melting from your body. Conscious breathing is the perfect antidote to stress.
[Continue B-R-E-A-T-H-I-N-G slowly and deeply.]
*Conscious Breathing Increases Energy. To overcome fatigue, focus on your breathing and be fully engaged with each in-breath and each out-breath. Do this for several minutes and fatigue will be replaced with a warm flow of vitality.
As I take breathing breaks during my day, I like to follow the breathing rhythm recommended in the book, Getting into the Vortex: a full, strong breath in… 1, 2, 3… and a long, slow, easy breath out… 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Works like a charm to allow in a fresh flow of life force energy.
*Conscious Breathing Reduces Pain. Many women have learned healthy breathing techniques through natural childbirth classes – breathing with the contractions, rather than fighting them. Gay Hendricks even uses slow deep breathing rather than anesthesia at the dentist. Not sure I’m ready for that one, but nice to know it can be done. Breathing into discomfort rather than resisting it reduces any painful sensation.
Conscious breathing is a fast, effective way to improve physical, mental and emotional well-being. Every cell in your body is rejuvenated by fresh supplies of oxygen. As you breathe deeply, you’re in a state of allowing, a state of alignment with Source. You feel more fully alive. Your blood flows more smoothly, your digestion works more efficiently and you think more clearly. As you breathe slowly and deeply into your belly, endorphins are released and you feel naturally calm and at peace.
You breathe in and out 20,000 times a day. Over a lifetime, that’s more than 100 million times. Imagine how breathing even slightly more consciously will result in profound improvements in the quality of your entire life!
[Still breathing slowly and deeply? Feel better, don’t you?]
Kathryn Corbin is a Lof of Attraction Coach and the creator of Gold Star Coaching. Both her coaching practice and her two ebooks – “Dining at the Cosmic Cafe, How to Be and Do and Have Whatever You Desire” as well as “Think and Grow Thin with the Law of Attraction” – are designed to empower you to truly live the life of your dreams. To contact Coach Kate, download a free copy of her ebook “Magical Musings on the Law of Attraction,” and subscribe to her ezine, visit Gold Star Coaching.