What if you had unlimited potential to tap into healing, peace, relaxation, and joy? What if, at any moment, you could choose to tap into raw power and improve your life? I’m here to tell you that you DO have that power!
The power of your breath is LIMITLESS, and the more in touch with your body and your breath you become, the more access you have to the inherent power and potential that you possess. By harnessing the power of your breath, you can more easily access your inherent nature as a peaceful, joy-filled, healthy, and amazing human being.
Benefits of Conscious Breath Work
Stress Relief – QUICKLY!
When you tap into your breath, and consciously control it, you have the power to completely change your body’s response to the environment you’re in. When the body is stressed, in fight, flight or freeze mode, the breath quickens and gets more shallow. The amount of oxygen in your blood drops, and your body’s chemistry completely shifts into stress response, producing higher amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. Higher amounts of cortisol are related to decreased cognitive function, suppressed thyroid function and many more detrimental health effects. This state of stress is where most people constantly live, but by harnessing the power of your breath, you can break free of this stress cycle.
You can implement multiple stress reduction techniques, but “if you’re not breathing in a way that tells your nervous system that it’s time to relax, you won’t get there,” clinical psychologist and breath work instructor Belisa Vranich, Ph.D., explains of the breath’s ability to combat stress and anxiety. By simply getting in touch with your breath during moments of stress, you can consciously change your breathing and unlock your inherent power to heal and access the peace and joy that is your true nature.
Improve your Immune System and Increase Your Healing Capacity
By slowing and deepening your breathing, and engaging in regular breath work practices, you can increase the amount of oxygen that your blood cells carry, giving your body abundant energy. By shifting your body into a state of relaxation through conscious breathing, your body can more easily get into parasympathetic nervous system function, the state needed for healing and proper immune function. Some breath work exercises have even been directly linked to influencing your immune response such as the Wim Hoff method, one of my favorite forms of breath work.
Develop a Deeper Connection to Yourself, Increase Self Love
Although it may not be something science can currently measure, having a good relationship with yourself, and practicing self love is key to finding joy and experiencing peace in your life. Self love can look like many things to people, and most of us were never taught how to cultivate it. In fact, we have instead been taught the exact opposite.
The deeper our connection to ourselves, and the more love we show ourselves, the easier it is to identify when we are out of balance and the easier it is for us to get back into balance. The more balance we can cultivate in our lives, the more peace we will feel, the happier we will be, and the more empowered we become. Your breath is the doorway to deeply connecting to yourself and to accessing your raw, inherent power.
Improve Sleep Quality
Day to day life is full of stressors. From our smartphones to the food we eat, to the air we breathe, and the overall state our society is in, the majority of us live in a heightened state of stress and anxiety, which takes a tremendous toll on our well-being. Heightened states of prolonged stress lead to lower quality sleep, and issues such as insomnia. Conscious breathing exercises help us to slow down the fast pace of the world, and allow us to change our body’s reaction to the uncontrollable amount of stress we are all bombarded with every day. By working to calm the nervous system, breath work exercises can help regulate stress responses, allowing the body to more easily drift to sleep, and keep the body in deep sleep states for longer amounts of time.
So how do you access this inherent power?
Simply Become Aware of Your Breath
How can you access this power if you’re not even aware that you’re breathing? The first step to harnessing the power of your breath is simply to become aware of it. This is the easiest practice, and you can do it anytime, anywhere. All you need to do is simply choose to focus on your breath. I invite you to try it right now. Can you feel yourself breathing? How deep is your breath? How fast are you breathing? Is there a gap anywhere in your breath? Do you feel it getting stuck somewhere in your body? Just notice your breath. Notice anything you can about the quality of your breath. Be curious and open to experiencing and becoming aware of your breath. This is the foundation for all breath work and this is the doorway to the inherent power that lies within your breath.
The 1 to 3 Mini Pause
This is a simple, easy practice to start getting in touch with your inherent power of peace and ease that resides in your breath. It simply is 1 – 3 minutes to focus on your breath and then after you are aware of your breath you take at least 3 deep breaths. Practice this 1 to 3 times a day.
Set a timer on your phone or an event in your calendar that tells you to set aside 1 to 3 minutes, 1 to 3 times a day. You will use this 1 to 3 minute “mini pause” to simply become aware of your breath, and shift your system out of stress mode. 1 to 3 minutes can easily be found in any part of your day no matter how busy your life or work may be.
Once you’re in this 1 to 3 mini pause time and space, take the time to stop what you are doing, and simply become aware of your breath. Be curious about how you’re breathing. Ask yourself questions about your breath as we did above. Be open to experiencing your breath in its full richness by devoting your complete, focused awareness to only your breath. If your mind wanders, that is okay. Just bring your attention back to your breath, and explore what it feels like to be present with nothing but yourself and your breath. After you’ve become aware of your breathing, the next step is to slow it down and deepen it. Take about a minute to become aware of your breath, then take at least 3 deep breaths before ending your 1 to 3 mini pause. Notice how much more aware you are after your mini pause, and give yourself gratitude for giving yourself this mini pause.
I assure you that this simple practice will help calm your nervous system, and be beneficial to you, as you will be more aware and more present in whatever you are returning to engage in after this 1 to 3 mini pause. I also warn you that this 1 to 3 mini pause may become addicting, and you may start doing it more than 1 to 3 times a day, and THAT is something to celebrate!
“Box” Breathing or 4-4-4-4 Breathing
Box breathing, is a great way to reduce stress, calm the nervous system, and re-center your entire being so that you can feel more present, more peaceful, and more empowered in your day to day to life. Follow the simple steps below to practice this powerful exercise.
- Become aware of your breath, and allow yourself to mindfully take control of your breathing pattern.
- Let out all of the air in your lungs to the count of four.
- Keep your lungs empty, holding your out breath for a count of four.
- Inhale for a count of four.
- Keep your lungs full, holding your in breath, for a count of four.
- Practice this cycle for 3 to 5 minutes or longer and you will start feeling the calming effects in your body.
That’s it! You can play with the timing and see what works best for you after you’ve experimented with it. I prefer to increase my in breath and out breath to a count of 8, and keep my breath holds between in and out breaths at a count of 4, but you can do whatever works best for you. The key is slowing the breathing down, holding the breath after inhaling, and holding the breath again after exhaling.
Breath is Life! Be grateful for your breath, and be curious to explore!
These are just a few very simple ways to begin to start to harness the power of your breath. If you are interested in moving deeper into breath work and into fully embodying your inherent power and potential, I invite you to apply for my 1 on 1 coaching services. Applying is free, and I would love to be your partner and guide in your evolution and growth!
We are all in this together, and life can be pretty rough sometimes, but with the right tools, the right perspectives, and the right support, we can choose to evolve and bloom together in love. Happy breathing and happy blooming!