Personal and wellbeing coach, trainer and author ELISABETTA FRANZOSO explains the connection between breathing and wellbeing.
The way we breathe is akin to how we live our life. How do you generally describe your approach to living? What’s your usual breathing technique? Do you find yourself gasping for breath when you feel sad or angry?
Reality check Every breath we take reminds us we’re alive. Breathing is the harmonising force which unites and balances our entire system – head, heart and belly. The breathing process is carried out by the automatic nervous system, which means we’re breathing without having to do anything consciously.
Insight The way we breathe tells us a lot about our wellbeing and directly corresponds to our emotions. Negative, stressful, angry or fearful states are usually accompanied by short, irregular, shallow breathing – which is heavy on the chest. Positive, peaceful and relaxed states are accompanied by longer, deeper breaths centred in the belly area.
Result Anxiety, worries, bitterness, pressing deadlines, a fast life or even a sedentary work pace may cause a dramatic change in your breathing. You can deliberately induce a quieter and more relaxed state by consciously changing your breathing pattern and shifting to a deeper “belly breath”. This eases the nervous system and affects your entire physiological response to stress, by calming both the body and mind.
Moving forward Slowing down, attuning your breath and taking a few deep inhalations and exhalations can help release unnecessary distress. By learning and practicing breathing techniques you can release tension, deepen concentration and ease pain – which is why this technique is practiced in childbirth.
Practice your breathing technique anywhere – while waiting for the bus or watching a beautiful sunset. The inhalation and exhalation reminds you to open yourself as fully as possible to your present state – the “now”.
Q. Can breathing techniques ease pain?
A. We normally tense ourselves against pain – whether physical or psychological – and seek relief through distractions or pills. By breathing into your pain and becoming more open to it you’ll find the intensity of the pain is reduced and any tension released.
Q. Can breathing techniques change emotional states and nurture wellbeing?
A. Yes, as holding onto emotions such as fear, grief or anger restricts our breath. By paying attention to your breathing patterns you can remove the conditions blocking the natural flow of your breathing –which may be depriving you of an enriching life.
Elisabetta Franzoso BA, Dipl.Psych, MSocSc Author of Stella’s Mum Gets Her Groove Back available at bookstores and www.amazon.com
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Elisabetta Franzoso is a highly self-driven coach and motivator who focuses on communication, self-expression and wellbeing. Her passion is to empower people to achieve excellence and transformation from the inside out. To complete your Well-Being Inventory Index and get your detailed personal Health and Wellness Assessment, contact Elisabetta and her team of professional Life Coaches, Psychological Counsellors, Fitness Trainers, Nutritionists, Physicians and Body Therapists.