What's in a breath?
Surely we are all breathing naturally? Otherwise we will all be dead, right? With so many of my clients, myself included, I find the common thread connecting us all to a world of turmoil and uncertainty is breathing, or rather the lack thereof. What is the first thing we do when we find ourselves in a stressful situation, or expect pain? We hold our breath, without even realising it. In an instant the primal mechanisms of survival kicks into action, getting us ready for either fight, flight or freeze.
This action of holding our breath has exactly the same effect on our bodies as, for instance, a big fright or getting hit on the shin with a cricket ball. When we get bad news, or experience pain during an accident, we inhale sharply and hold our breath! So what is the difference between being in agony and just holding our breath in a seemingly normal setting? Nothing! The mind still perceives both to be stressful enough to initiate the survival mode. This traps or recalls any emotion which has been formed in a response to a situation. By holding your breath, you jolt the mind in remembering the situation as well as the emotion and react to the same situation, again! If this cycle is not broken it can continue for years to come.
This cycle keeps you in a permanent loop of fight, flight or freeze without being able to let go and come back to a relaxed state affecting the way we breath. What are the effects of this permanent state of reactivity? Well, that can vary from person to person. We each are born with patterns of dealing with stress differently, patterns which we have inherited and which have evolved from generation to generation. One person might react physically, breaking out in hives, whilst the next might have a mental breakdown, depending on the pattern you received or which your subconscious decided to activate and use.
Nothing stops the release of stress hormones as quickly as breathing normally. This is when we don't just use the top 5 to 10% of our lungs, but all of it and it also involves expanding the diaphragm, pushing the stomach outward. The proprioceptors found in our skin and joints, which monitor how the skin expands around the ribcage and the waist, send detailed information to the brain. This proprioception in turn either keep us in survival mode, shallow breathing with tense abdominal muscles, or return us to a relaxed state, deep natural and unhindered breathing.
Remember that oxygen is not just a life giving miracle, but also a nutrient for our bodies. Without this nutrient we will die within a couple of minutes. Make the most of every breath you take. Inhale positivity and exhale all things negative. Make breathing easy again and don't take it for granted. Specialised Kinesiology is one avenue where we can explore breathing problems and the primal survival reflexes found in the body. You can also try Rescue Synergy to help cope with stress. Other helpful supplements might be Adrenal Tonic, Vitamin B1, Calm Spirit, Adaptocalm, Anxio and Calmall.
That is what's in a breath.
Makes you think, doesn't it?