Breathing is the first and the last thing we (will) do as living beings.
Our breathing can tell us a lot about our state of being. Our breath is, as it were, a mirror of our way of life. Yet during life we don’t think much about our breathing. We (fortunately) breath automatically, but this does not mean that we cannot influence it. Are you already aware of the way you breathe?
Breath and emotions
Just think about yourself; what happens to your breathing when you are frightened or anxious? Right. Your breathing is high and you hold your breath for a moment. This is a natural reaction. The (stress) hormones ensure that you can flee in case of an emergency. This is also called the fight or flight response. In such case, your deep abdominal breathing stops for a while and you can no longer feel your (deep) emotions. In such moment survival is, simply said, more important. However, your body may store the emotions and tensions and you may develop certain complaints.
Just observe during the day where your breathing is and how it feels. What emotions do you experience and what changes do you notice in your breathing? Examples of emotions are: joy, sadness, anger, fear or frustration. If you become aware of your breathing, you can also train it. This allows you to use your breath consciously. For example, to relax during stressful moments or to feel your emotions. This can increase your vitality and improve your health in the long run.
Did you know that...?
- …by breathing we nourish our cells with oxygen and that we rid our body of waste products with every exhalation? We lose about 70% of our waste through breathing! Breathing is therefore of vital importance.
- …due to stress and pressure, Western people have started to breathe more and more superficially?
- …when breathing in and out deeper and longer, your body takes in more oxygen and releases more toxins? Thus, strengthening the immune system, increasing energy, vitality and breathing capacity and contributing to more awareness and inner peace.
- …60% oxygen deficiency at cellular level leads to cancer cells? Otto Warburg received the Nobel Prize for his research in 1931, which showed that, among other things, an anaerobic environment (an environment with less/no oxygen) is a prerequisite for the development of cancer cells.
- …that about 90% of people uses about 30% of their breathing capacity?!
- …we breathe an average of 12 to 15 times per minute? This means approximately 17,280 to 21,600 times a day. This depends on the breathing frequency, which varies per person, and the activities (day or night).
- …through breathing you are more in touch with your body and your feelings and that breathing can therefore help your process traumatic experiences and reduce any physical stress-related complaints?
During holistic coaching, I use (where necessary) connected breathing to connect body, mind and soul. Leading to, as it were, more awareness about your life and the way you experience it. Your breathing contributes to good health, inner peace and personal transformation. By observing your breathing, you will find out how you feel about your life, who you really are and what is important to you. Most adults find it more difficult to express their feelings than when they were kids. An example of a learned belief is “men don’t cry”. This results in someone locking up, or bottling up, all their emotions. This can eventually lead to health problems. By directing your breath, you can let go of trapped emotions such as sadness, pain and fear. You literally breathe “through” them, as it were. Allowing your energy to flow more freely again.