Immediate stress relief
In the West we don’t pay much attention to the breath, but it’s the main system in our body that reflects stress. One of the best ways to deal with stress but not well known is actually to use the breath.
Deep healthy breathing calms the mind, and a calm mind creates deeper more profound natural breath. If the breath becomes shallow or irregular, it affects our emotional balance. By lengthening and deepening the breath it calms the nervous system and reduces stress.
Good breathing not only affects the quality of our life, but also the length of our life.
The average life span of an elephant is 86 years and for a tortoise 100 years. Their breathing pattern is very slow. A tortoise takes 3-4 breaths per minute and an elephant 4-5 breaths per minute. This is no coincidence. A human being takes between 12-20 breaths per minute. If you can slow your breath the body doesn’t work so hard, so it makes perfect sense that you may live longer by breathing well.
If a man learns to control his five senses in one birth as does the tortoise, that power will stand by him in his seven future briths (Kural 126)
Proven by science when your breathing is deep and profound, your mind will be quieter as will your nervous system. That has to be good.
Breathing fully and more deeply will without a doubt help you sleep better. It will relieve tension in your body, your skin will look more plump and your eyes will be brighter. It will also make your immune system more robust.
Good breathing also improves the your power of concentration and you’ll will feel more relaxed generally. The breath is like an interface between the body and the mind. Every thought, every emotion, in fact everything you do, has a direct effect on your breath.
Taking control of your breath will help you take control of your mind.
For instant stress relief try this:
- Sit quietly with your spine straight
- Bring your awareness to your throat region
- Just notice the rhythm of the breath
- Notice that your breath becomes more shallow
- Notice that you feel out of balance
- Now turn your attention down to your heart…….
- Notice what happens to the breath
- You breath will immediately start to slow down
- You will notice that your breath becomes longer and deeper
As soon as you turn your attention inwards, towards the heart, practically instantaneously, our breath rate starts to slow and you will feel calmer.
Learn more about the breath in my book Breathe Better, Sleep Better.