Can you control your mind?

Are you able to stop it leaping all over the place from what to do for dinner, what’s next on the to-do list, how much longer is this run/workout/work presentation going for?!?!? Or do you sometimes find your mind on a negative downward spiral, anxiously worrying or just plain overwhelmed?

What’s a human to do?

Our mind is like a monkey. Swinging from branch to branch, stimulus to stimulus. But there is HOPE! There is something that is always with us, always accessible, always at our disposal and that is… the breath. The ancient yogis knew that the breath is the link between the body and mind and if we learnt how to control the breath, we could alter our psychological and physiological states. We are in control. We can calm the mind, energise the body, whatever ideal state we are desiring – we can tap into it by controlling the breath.

Different patterns of breath affect us in different ways.

Usually, our breathing operates passively. It occurs beneath our awareness and happens involuntarily, which is great as we don’t have to spend all our time and attention reminding ourselves to breathe! But, how we are automatically breathing is not usually in the most efficient or effective way. When we feel something, our breathing changes to reflect this. If we become stressed, our breathing rate changes. If we are relaxed, our breathing alters again. Breathwork and mindfulness of the breath are all about becoming conscious of how we are breathing and then making a decision on how to change or alter the breath to access a more desired state of arousal or relaxation.

Do you want to start the day feeling relaxed, yet powerful and alert? There’s a breathing pattern suited for that.

Need to calm down, de-stress and relax?

Want to release the stress of the day or not yell at your kids? 

Got a big presentation coming up and you need to get laser-focused?

About to perform your max rep at the gym?

Competing at a high level and need to perform optimally?

You guessed it, there is an optimal breathing pattern for that! 

Wim Hoff explains that breathwork is focusing your mind on your breath, being able to consciously control your breathing to access deep levels of mental, emotional and physical healing. I agree, and I also see the vast array of simple benefits that turning our attention to the breath has in our daily life.

You know how to breathe, but do you know how to breathe to thrive, flourish, support your wellbeing and optimally maximise your potential? The breath influences movement in our diaphragm, which is connected to our nervous system, which if you have read my other posts or listened to my podcast, I am a big advocate in learning to work with our nervous system to experience higher levels of wellness and unlock our greatest potentials. Lee Holden, Doctor of Chinese Medicine and  Qigong Instructor likens breathing to nutrition. He explains that when we eat a variety of different foods, we receive a variety of nutritions that our body needs to thrive. Holden says it’s no different with our breath, ‘if you breathe in a variety of ways, you give your body the energetic nutrition it needs to live well.”

Learning to breathe correctly, as well as increasing awareness of our breathing patterns throughout the day, has a whole host of incredible benefits. Some of these benefits are an increased heart rate variability (meaning we can bounce back easily into relaxation mode after stress), higher, more sustained energy, less fatigue, more clarity and clearer thinking, improved memory and concentration levels, mood stabiliser (reduced depression, anxiety, mood swings), improved sleep quality, lung function and respiratory strength. A simple habit to improve your breathing and health is to check in with it throughout the day. Are you using your neck muscles or breathing high in the chest? Is it short and shallow? Are you using your mouth to breathe? If yes, this is what’s called shallow breathing and it isn’t efficient as we are using a smaller percentage of our lung capacity, among many other reasons. Instead, try dropping your breath down into your belly for a diaphragmatic (or belly) breath.

Expand the belly on the inhalation and contract the belly on the exhalation.

Breathe in and out of your nose. Slow it down, deepen it. Relax, it’s all good and know you got this.

My FREE Online Wellness Program includes 3 x breathing exercises to calm, energise and recentre through mindfulness.

CLICK HERE FOR FREE BREATH EXERCISES

Continue your health journey and elevate your wellness with the HCA Free Wellness Program with movement, meditation, mindfulness and the breath.

Click here to learn more.

Join the HCA Facebook Community here!

Contact us for more information