When we stress, we shallow breathe. The relationship between the body and brain is symbiotic. In other words, your body communicates and controls the brain and the brain communicates and controls the body.
For example, if you think of something annoying, your body feels the tension. And if you are physically doing something like exercising or listening to music, your body tells your brain what is going on in your environment. The body can control the awareness of the brain based on what chemicals are being released through the body’s actions.
So when you’re in a bad mood or low on confidence, feeling vulnerable, incapable and perhaps even depressed, your brain’s awareness is being controlled by your body’s emotions. Your thoughts are being predetermined by your mood. And mood has enormous gravity, which is why we can get stuck in that state way beyond what is acceptable to us.
There is one thing you can do that can change that. The trick is to arrest the problem where it exists. The tension in your body is directly related to your stressed state. The body has been tricked into remaining in perpetual protection mode and one of the key habits in place is the rhythm of your breathing. In protection mode your breathing is shallow.
When you take control of your breathing, you are taking control of a fundamental lever that talks directly to the brain. It literally tells the brain what is going on for the body. So when you’re shallow breathing, you’re telling your brain you are in danger and to stay hyper alert with tense muscles and continue in stress mode until that danger is gone.
As you already may have noticed, 99% of the time, there is no physical danger when we are stressed. This shows how gullible the brain can be and how much we can sabotage our opportunities when we are busy polarising our perception between defending, attacking, denying and running away from the illusion of a threat. When we get into arguments that we later regret, finding ourselves defending and contradicting ourselves, that’s when you know your perspective has been hijacked by being tricked into that stress response.
When this happens on an ongoing basis, we call this chronic stress. The body ends up with chronic diseases because its not allowed the peace to relax and repair the body. Your day is filled with anxiety and your nights with interrupted sleep. Sound familiar? It’s way too common and the ramifications to your health, mental well being, relationships and goals are initially heart breaking when confronted but potentially life destroying when not confronted.
So the one thing you can do to stop this is to deep breathe. Please don’t get disappointed that the secret is not bigger than this. Trust me, this is massive and if you do it right, you will immediately notice your brain chemistry change – you will feel different, your mood will actually change.
When you deep breathe, you are telling the brain that your environment has become peaceful and this tricks the brain into changing its’ state into growth mode. Growth translates to the body repairing and the brain engaging higher thinking related to ideas and opportunities to better your life. Finally, you have moved out of unnecessary protection mode which is unsustainable and into a healthy balance between protection and growth which is very sustainable.
Here is a process to follow to help you focus on your breathing. It’s free, powerful and life changing. I have taken clients in my office through this for 5 – 10 minutes and the moment they open their eyes the first thing they say is wow, I feel so relaxed and better. They are very surprised at how fast it works.
So here is the breath technique process: –
– Sit comfortably upright in a chair or lay down in bed
– Make sure you are wearing loose fitting and comfortable clothing
– Access a quiet and dark room or use blinders
– Empty mind from all thoughts
– Begin taking comfortably steady and constant deep breaths
– Inhale and hold it for 3 seconds. Then exhale and hold it for 3 seconds
– Each exhale; breathe out the tension and stress
– Move slowly through every muscle of your body; exhale the tension out of that muscle
– Once you have finished, stay still and allow your breathing to be second nature
– Hold a symbol in your mind to remind you of this state of mind so can get get back to that deeply relaxed place quicker the more you do it when focused on that symbol
– After a timeless being without thinking, slowly bring your attention to the surface and allow time to adjust
You will notice how much your mood and awareness has changed. You will also realise that your quality of thinking has improved, with more balanced thinking rather than being heavily skewed towards the negative.
* If you fall asleep, you’re probably sleep deprived, so keep doing this until you no longer fall asleep.
Another great way to deep breathe is while you walk. Try steadily deep breathing for about 5 steps and then hold your breath for the next step. Then exhale steadily for the next 5 steps. Keep this going so you get into a deep rhythm focusing on releasing the tension in your body on every exhale. Soften your focus while you walk and just stay present and only focused on the rhythm and the breathing. A great way to de-stress and change your state of mind on your way to an appointment or meeting.
As you can see, your life improving for the better is literally a deep breath away, or more like 5 – 10 minutes of it, which is a great investment to make into your well being on a daily basis.
There are many ways to incorporate deep breathing into your day. Have you found a way to do it you would like to share? Also, what difference have you found this has made to the quality of your thinking and your day?