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« Precious Little Chunks of Time | Main | New Study Looks at How Negative Emotions Imprint Your Memory »
Wednesday
Sep192007

Breath, Mind and Mood

dreamstime_3157478-01.jpgIf you stopped breathing you’d die. You know that, of course, but did you also know that if you breath automatically you are not living to your fullest?

Your breath affects your health and your breath affects your mental state. You can increase your vitality by controlling your breath and you can master your emotions too.

According to Ayurveda (the ancient science of life) and Yoga, your breath contains more than oxygen, it also contains prana - vital energy.

When you are stressed, shocked, or anxious, you tense up and you hold your breath. You probably don’t even think about it, it’s a reaction that happens automatically and in an instant. That tension and held breath means that your brain and your muscles aren’t getting what they need: oxygen and vital energy.

Every emotion has it’s own unique breathing pattern: anger is ragged, fast and high in the chest; fear is frozen, anxiety is fast and shallow.

The breathing patterns related to negative negative emotions impede the transport of oxygen and prana to where they are most needed. But by changing your breath you can change disturbed breathing patterns and regain control…

Your Brain on Ice: Brain Fog & Brain Freeze

When your breath becomes restricted due to stress, tension or anxiety, it’s as if you “freeze”. Ayurveda teaches that the flow of your breath controls the flow of your mind, so when your breath freezes your thoughts are affected too and it’s hard to think rationally or in a self-supportive way.

Some researches now feel that the “brain fog” experienced by many suffering with chronic fatigue conditions may be due to an accumulative inner tension that stops the brain getting the free flow of oxygen it needs to work optimally.

How to Keep Your Head

“If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs…”

Stress gets hold when we ignore the little voice that tells us to calm down, take a break, drink some water etc. Stress will quickly have you rushing, pushing and grabbing. Grab a coffee, grab lunch, rush here, rush there, push through traffic, push past people. All the while feeling irritated and irritating others. It’s no way to live and it only gets worse.

But there’s a better way. By taking just a few minutes a day to learn to breath deeply you can literally blow stress away. You can train yourself to master stress and tension simply by taking a deep breath as soon as they strike and continuing to breath deeply for a minute or so as you enjoy feeling relaxed and in control instead of stressed and burdened. If you breath deeply in the face of challenges, your mind will reward you by having it’s full creative intelligence at your disposal.

Your Breath & Your Emotions

Stress happens, you can’t escape it, but you can learn to breathe through it in a way that significantly reduces it’s toll on your health, your mind and your ability to get things done.

Your body and your mind are in constant communication, if you practice the simple act of breathing deeply instead of holding your breath when something stressful happens, you are telling your mind “Relax, I can handle this”.

Stressed out people are ineffectual people on every level. They are unhappy, unproductive and unpopular. They rush around in a panic getting things half done, snapping or moaning at people, they get so caught up in their own mess that they become self-absorbed and tiring to be around. And it all happens by lack of self-awareness.

It seems ironic to think that by not being self-aware you become self-absorbed, but they are two very different things:

Self-awareness facilitates introspection, self-care and making good choices. It allows us to observe and adjust and so we can live proactively rather than reactively. If we can care for ourselves then we can care for others; we have time for them and we have empathy for them. We care calm, in control and open hearted.

If you practice regular slow, steady breathing you will experience a direct effect on your mind and emotions. You will be able to reduce stress and anxiety and enjoy feeling more peaceful.


In conclusion:
Your breath and your mind are directly related, by calming and controlling your breath, you can calm and control your mind, and some will tell you that you’ll live longer too…

Written by Ananga Sivyer. Join me on Facebook or Twitter

 

What’s next?


Other articles you might find of interest:

Breathing for Beginners

The Peaceful Mind

 


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New Beginnings in Breathing

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Discover the anxiety beating powers of deep breathing. With this guided breathing meditation, Ananga talks you through how to deepen and lengthen your breath so that you can instantly feel more calm. With regular use of this meditation exercise you can enjoy reduced stress and anxiety and a deepening sense of peace with every listening.

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Reader Comments (1)

Hi Ananga,

Just putting together the latest edition of the Personal Development Carnival and have just finished your article. Congratulations its fabulous. I'm a big yoga fan which always reminds us to bring our awareness and focus back to our breath.

Love, peace and chai tea



Carole
Sep 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCarole

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