Your breathing is like the conductor of an orchestra.
If you breathe with your upper chest, or if you are a ‘big breather’,
then just as when a conductor is enthusiastic to make the whole orchestra play with more energy and enthusiasm:-
-in your body adrenaline is released, and the fight and flight response is activated. This can be wonderful and useful and a lot of fun and a buzz.
But long term if it becomes your normal way of living, you can become tired, less productive and even burnt out.
If you do gentle nose diaphragm breathing, the whole orchestra relaxes and mellows down.
Your body can access the powerful parasympathetic nervous system of Rest. it doesn’t look as much fun as the wild conductor above! – but it is essential for our immune and digestive systems, for creative thinking and processing emotions, for our (especially women’s) sexual response and more.
it is just like plugging your body into a recharger to repair the wear and tear of the day or week so you can keep yourself energised and efficient for daily life.
You will be aware how different emotions generally cause certain breathing patterns:-
When you are angry you can exagerate the breaths in and out or do breath holds.
When you are excited you may do upper chest breaths, speaking fast, grabbing as much air with each breath in, adn you may end up breathless.
When you are fearful you will do smaller upper chest breaths and either breathe fast or do breath holds.
If you drop something on your foot you will take a big breath with explosive out breath or a breath hold then you may breath fast and light.
If you hear a noise in the night you will hold your breath.
But did you know that certain breathing patterns will cause different emotions:-
If you do fast light upper chest breathing, you will increase the adrenaline response in your body, and can experience more stress than is necessary in a situation or feel anxious and stressed.
You can become angrier than you need to by reinforcing the anger breathing
And you can approach life or a situation with more calm and control by doing calm breathing.
If you have forgotten how to breathe into calm, the only way to change your breathing is by practising a new pattern.
The pattern that I encourage is NOT playing with your breathing pattern by developing a complicated rhythm, but takes you back to how you were born to breathe. Even though breathing should be the most natural thing in the world, some people have had such pain, stresses, busyness or have believed lies about themselves that they have developed and normalised a disordered breathing pattern.
A NORMAL BREATHING PATTERN AT REST OR LIGHT ACTIVITY =
You may need to practice it when you are lying down at first, so your whole body is supported, and you can really focus on what relaxation and GENTLE breathing can feel like. Don’t forget that the secret to Rest is in the pause between your breaths.
This is NOT Deep Breathing. I like to call it Easy Breathing, as when you practice it will start to feel effortless and comfortable.
See my free Relaxation and Breathing button on the home page.