The Connection between our Emotions & our BREATH
Happy Sunday! What are your self-care Sunday plans? Yoga is such a powerful practice. Yoga teaches you how to find balance, build strength, flexibility, and concentration, but most importantly, surrendering to the present moment by focusing on the breath! Check out my post on my Instagram or Facebook.
Gratitude and appreciation are core positive psychology practices that have been shown to boost physical, mental, and emotional health.
🙏🏽 Gratitude Practice 🙏🏽
As part of your morning routine, I invite you to consider 3 things that you’re grateful for today?
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We have all heard this simple saying during times of trouble: “Take a deep breath in.”
Science indicates that we may now have to update this old adage to read “Take a deep breath in it will help you be more emotionally aware but only if you inhale specifically through your nostrils and not your mouth”.
While this may seem a lengthy tip to recall in the midst of uh-oh moments, the power of active breathing ‘voluntarily inhaling and exhaling to control our breathing rhythm’ has been known and used throughout history. Even today, in tactical situations by soldiers, or in extreme cold conditions by the Ice Man, we know that slow, deep breathing can calm the nervous system by reducing our heart rate and activating the parasympathetic calming nervous system. In this way, our bodies become calm, and our minds also quieten. Recently, a new study has found evidence to show that there is actually a direct link between nasal breathing and our cognitive functions.
I invite you to listen to episode #30 of the Self-Care Goddess Podcast with Anders Olsson “Conscious Breathing Your First Pillar of Self-Care”.
Respirations’ ties to emotional states are particularly prominent when it comes to the “negative” emotions such as: sadness, anxiety, even rage. This makes perfect sense for the body: if you’re in a situation of stress, emotional or otherwise, the body enters what’s called an “arousal state,” where higher respiration provides more oxygen to help fight or flee whatever is causing the disturbance. It is believed that we don’t have a lot of conscious control over this, as it’s part of the autonomic nervous system, but I would like to differ since with enough conscious awareness and practice we can control our breathing.
The relationship between emotional states and respiration isn’t just one-way. For all the New Age-ness of the idea that breathing patterns can regulate our feelings, science actually backs up the entire concept. A 2006 study published in Behaviour Response & Therapy found that undergraduates who had undergone 15-minutes of focused slow-breathing exercises had much more balanced, positive emotional responses afterwards, than the control group who had 15-minutes of “unfocused attention and worrying”.
And it’s not just about calming down. A much-cited study by French scientist Pierre Phillipot asked participants to identify the breathing patterns they associated with particular emotions like joy or sadness (which they did easily). The researchers then asked another group of people to breathe in particular “patterns” and then probed their emotions. The results were fascinating: if the subjects were directed to breathe in a certain emotional “pattern,” even if they weren’t aware of it, they reported feeling the associated emotion, apparently out of the blue. This proves the connection between our Emotions & our BREATH.
Listen to my wellness video “Breathe To Increase Your Energy” here.
I am a certified Breathwork Facilitator. Connect With Me to know more on the amazing power of breathwork and learn some breathwork techniques than can help you better manage yourself.