Deep breathing calms us – body, mind, and spirit – in the present moment, and in times of stress.
It also creates a connection to that part of our self when calm resides. And each time we breathe deeply, or do a practice that engages our breath, the connection becomes stronger. Together, our breath and our heart-space are the most powerful sparks of the divine within us.
Deep breathing, or breathwork as it is often called, has been a part of calming, centering, and spiritual practices for eons. It connects us to our True Self – to our heart-space, which is where we tap into universal flow, and can connect to the love, wisdom, and peaceful feelings found there.
At the end of this message is a small Breathwork Practice.
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In the physical, it is our continued breath and the beating of our heart that keep us alive. But we also have an energetic body – our chi, the Eastern term for our life-force, and deep breathing positively affects our life-force.
Together, our breath and our heart-space
are the most powerful sparks of the divine within us.
It is the quality of our focus/use/connection to our breath and the strength of our connection to our heart space that dictate how calm we are, how peaceful we feel, and how much joy we can tap into. These is turn affect our attitudes, decisions, behaviors, how we view and navigate life, which all affect how our life plays out.
Stress Drains Our Life-Force
In this time of change, uncertainty, and restrictions, most of us have been experiencing extra stress – at least from time to time. And since it is likely we will be facing this for the next little while, it is vital that we deal effectively with our stress.
We now know that stress not only affects our mind and emotions, it also affects our physical body – including our breathing. We do nt to come out of all this as unscathed as possible. We still have control in some areas of our life, like our attitudes about all that is going on and how we deal with the stress.
Deep breathing is one of the most uncomplicated habits
we can engage in for general health, and to relieve stress.
Breathing and stress and interrelated. Good, full, deep breathing helps to relieve stress, which strengthens our life-force. But when we are stressed, our breathing automatically quickens, and our life-force is weakened. This is why stress can cause us to get stuck in a downward cycle. To ensure we maintain a strong life-force, we must ensure we effectively deal with our stress.
In Conscious Breathing: Breathwork for Health, Stress Release, and Personal Mastery, Gay Hendricks explains how stress affects our breathing. As the body reacts to stress it activates the nervous system, pumping adrenaline to the body’s now tense muscles. This includes our stomach, and as it tenses up our breathing rate increases.
We then experience short, shallow breaths and begin to breathe from the chest. This chest breathing is restrictive. Hendricks further explains that healthy breathing comes from deep within our bellies and sends relaxing messages to all our cells. When our bodies relax, our breath becomes slower and shifts to the belly where we get a fuller, deeper breath. (1)
When our body is calm and we breathe fully, we are mentally calm
and have a good connection to that part of our self
where peace, wisdom, and ingenuity lie, and where insights come from.
Praying, meditating, doing yoga or Tai Chi, or any other spiritual practice that includes breathwork helps to reduce general stressors, as well as the incessant chatter of the ego-mind – which puts our emotional body into overdrive.
Engaging in our passions and bringing presence when doing simple tasks also calms us, as these put us in our heart-space. And as the energy of nature is most closely aligned to our spiritual nature, spending quiet time being near or around it automatically calms our being and slows down our breathing.
Good breathing has far reaching benefits. As it connects us more fully to our True Self, we can feel more, love more, be more passionate, and more easily tap into joy. We also become more mindful. Being mindful, we make wiser decisions, have more loving responses, and create more harmonious relationships.
Here is a simple breath exercise that can be done almost anywhere and at any time to calm you, center you, or energize you. (You can also find this little breath exercise in my blog post Relaxing Music, Meditations, etc. found HERE.
(Do for 2-3 minutes for a quick re-set, or up to 15 to 20 minutes when needing a major re-set or energetic overhaul. Repeating on a daily basis can bring about major shifts in our energetic level and in our consciousness).
Our in-breaths invite in life. Our out-breaths expel stress/fatigue/depression, etc.
To begin, always invite in your Best Self, Higher Self, Spirit, or your preferred Deity.
- Breathe in from the bottom of your belly all the way up to the top or your head.
- Breathe IN slowly and deeply – at least 3 seconds. Breathe OUT slowly and fully – 5 seconds
- Follow the in-and-out-breaths with your mind – or even your hands.
- Allow the breaths to calm you … or energize you.
- Repeat until you feel calmer, more relaxed, centered, or energized.
To feel and be our best it is recommended we do some kind of daily spiritual practice or breathwork. However, many people can find a sense of calm and peace by simply being in nature, or by partaking in activities they love that create a sense of well-being. My day simply goes better when my morning starts with a practice that evokes, or includes, deep breathing.
My prayer for you is that your days go smoothly and life is easy and pleasant, and that you and your loved ones all stay safe and well.? ?
Brightest blessings, Rosemary
Notation: 1) Gay Hendricks, Conscious Breathing: Breathwork for Health, Stress Release, and Personal Mastery (New York: Bantam Books, 1995), 7–8.
Rosemary McCarthy, © October 20, 2020
See here for About Book 1 of my new ‘Our Journeys to Peace” Series, “Why We Are the Way We Are” (Cover Images all below)
here for About my 1st book, “Your Journey to Peace, Bridging the Gap Between Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, and Science.”
here for About Book 2 of the series, Overcoming Our Unconscious Influences, like Anger, Frustration, Hurt Feelings, Neediness, Control Issues, and Blaming Others for Our Unhappiness – due out December 2020.
here for About Book 3, Relationships in an Evolving World – due out Winter 2020/21.
See here for my blog page – with articles on various subjects related to our personal, collective, and cosmic journeys to peace.
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