Our breath intimately connects to our emotions. The way we breathe reflects our emotional state. It is very noticable how our breathing changes when we shift from one emotional state into another one. The pace of our breath changes and also where we breathe. For example feeling low or depressed will most likely reflect in a very shallow breath.
When we get excited our breath is up higher in the chest and faster, whereas in a relaxed state we tend to breath more slowly into the belly area. We all know these moments when we are relieved and sigh a long and complete breath out as a response. Or when we get scared and hold our breath. When it comes to understanding our emotional state, there is nothing as accessible and easy to observe as our breathing .
It is a great indicator for our emotional state and how agile the emotions are moving through us or are stuck. Vice versa we can have an in-promptu impact on our emotional state through taking lead of our breath. By getting consciously involved in the usually unconsciously operating breathing we can lead our bodymind into different states.
Again, these are just short introduction of huge topics and we only briefly have a look at how working with the breath can release tension in the body.
As an example lets look at being stressed. A state that we all are in some times. Stress results in various forms of tensing in the body- for some it is clenching the jaw, for others tightening the belly, tensing the forehead or the shoulders. Instead of working on these tensed body parts, we adress the underlying causes of theses symptoms- naming that the bodymind is in a stressed state.
Now or the next time you feel agitated set yourself a timer for three minutes. For these three minutes focus on taking long, deep breath. Every exhale a little more complete, emptying yourself of all old breath, and then matching the inhale, making it full and big. Letting your lower belly blow out with every inhale, filling your belly with fresh air like a balloon and smooth long exhale through a slightly opened mouth. 3 minutes- increasingly deep inbreath, increasingely long and complete outbreath. Then see if even this 3 minutes led you into a more calm state.
Next week: on TOUCH!