Having an awareness of how we're breathing throughout the day is a great starting point for being able to manage your mental and emotional state, and once you have that awareness, you can use your breath to create change.
The fast-paced and frantic nature of modern society has pushed us towards an 'always on' state. In our bodies, this is characterised by our autonomic nervous system being heavily dialed towards our fight or flight state. This drives high levels of adrenaline in the body, increased heart rate and short, shallow breathing. These physical symptoms then manifest in more feelings of anxiety, and the cycle continues like this, sound familiar?
The breath is an incredibly powerful tool in that it can work from the 'bottom-up', meaning if we make a change in our body, through the breath, this can effect our mental and emotional state. We can use the breath to activate the different parts of our nervous system and as a result, take back control over how we feel. Simple breathing exercises can help us move between mental and emotional states easily and allow us to feel less passive to our emotions.
One of my favourite concepts when talking about mental health is the idea of responsibility, in that we all have the ability to respond to a negative thought or trigger however we choose to, and we can use breath as a tool to respond with, you really are that powerful!
When it comes to going deeper into your breathwork practice, we have the potential to quite literally 'get out of our heads' and back into our bodies, allowing us to explore what's really going on inside. When we suppress emotions, we push this emotional energy and it gets stored and stuck in parts of the body. When these emotions aren't processed, this can cause us mental, emotional and physical pain.
Most of us have experienced trauma at some point in our lives and this puts us into a state of hyper-vigilance, where we can become highly disconnected from what's going on in our bodies. Through breathwork, we can become completely present in the body and move into a type of 'auto-pilot' state. When we enter this state and access our subconscious, we are able to release emotional blockages, process trauma, move past negative thinking patterns and behaviours and dig into our baggage!
Simply put, a large number of us do not breathe functionally or optimally for our general health and athletic performance. 80% of us have dysfunctional breathing patterns! Whether you're an elite athlete or a casual runner, improving your breathing is a simple way to improve and optimise your performance. Our athletic performance and all round respiratory health requires us to be efficiently balancing the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood and ensuring that oxygen is delivered efficiently to our muscles and organs.
Through breathwork, we can start to optimise how we breathe, access more of our lung capacity and respiratory system and as a result, improve our general wellbeing and physical performance. As well as this, we can use breathwork exercises to get our bodies and minds ready to perform and recover more effectively. With the power of the breath, we can create energy, focus, calm, balance and much more - meaning you can perform at your best more often than ever before!
If you're interested in a one-to-one session or have any questions about my classes, or breathwork more generally, please book in a free call with me using the button below.Book here