How the breath affects the heart rate and sleep
Did you know that you can control of your mind with the breath? When you’re mind’s racing and your heart is running, all you need to do is change your breathing pattern to become quieter and calmer.
Lets try an exercise a moment.
You will need timer. You can use your phone for this, I use the app, Insight timer which is amazing. Set your timer 5 minutes with an interval bell at 3 minutes.
When you are ready with your timer, close your eyes, and for the first 2 minutes you are going to take your attention into your head, no specific location, just into your head and mind. Keep your attention there for the first two minutes and observe the breath. Make a mental note on the depth of the breath, is it shallow or deep, do you feel relaxed or slighted agitated. Where is the breath, is it in your upper chest or deep in the belly…just watch until the bell goes.
For the next three minutes you are going to move your attention deep into your heart, don’t do anything else, don’t try to change the breath, just observe and watch what happens to the breath. Where do you feel the breath? Which part of your body expands as you inhale?
How are you feeling now?
You will probably have noticed that when your attention was in your head, your breath was shallow and only your upper chest expanded. You may have felt agitated or on edge and did not know why. You may have felt like your breath seemed short and fast?
When you took your attention down into your heart, what happened?
One of the first things that may have happened is that you instinctively took a deep breath? Did you notice that your belly started to expand as you inhaled?
Did you notice that you felt more relaxed?
Imagine the heart as a brain with an intelligence all of it’s own acting as a network between the mind, emotions, body and spirit. The heart’s electro magnetic field is in fact 5000 times stronger than that of our brain. It has its own rhythmic vibratory intelligence that has been ignored for centuries. We are very much mistaken if we think that all it does is pump blood around our body.
I should stop right there.
Let’s not underestimate the physical capacity of the heart. It has a lifetime of over 70 years. It pumps more than two and half billion times and it sends round between forty and eighty million gallons of the body’s essentials to keep you alive. Definitely to be commended. In addition to this, though, the heart does other stuff that we don’t give a second thought!
The heart actually has as much influence over our brain as our brain over our heart.
It plays an important part in harmonising and balancing the cells of our body. Why do we think that we have become a nation of heart attack suffers? I believe that we cut ourselves off from our heart by living in our head, rounding our backs and starring at computer screens.
We never take the time to adjust our posture and give the heart the space it needs to function properly. We’re suffocating our own heart with terrible posture and modern day living. If only we could connect to the healing power of the heart, we would be calmer, have more capacity for love and compassion and be at peace with the world.
We are truly not aware of the accumulated tension around our heart until we are stressed and breathless.
I can practically guarantee that if you are suffering from insomnia or sleep problems your heart will be racing, your breath will be shallow and you will be breathing in the upper chest only. By simply breathing into the heart as you did earlier, you will connect to it’s extraordinary healing power.
If you are interested in learning more about the breath and the heart, I would be honoured to hear from you!