“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
Breathe in, hold it, and slowly let go!
Why focus on your breathing? Your breathing is the very essence of life. When you focus on your breathing, you focus on being alive.
Changing your breathing is one of the quickest and most effective ways of changing how you feel – change mood, calming yourself – the essence to the practice of relieving anxiety. As a former hypnotherapist I used to use the outbreath as the most important tool to induce hypnosis. The outbreath is a relaxant. I gave suggestions to help my clients go deeper into a relaxed and calm state.
In yoga and in many other spiritual disciplines, breathing is used to develop a meditative state. In this state your mind is relaxed and open to an altered state of awareness, between wakefulness and sleep. It induces Alpha brain waves that are slower and more open to the unconscious process.
The decision-making process takes place in the unconscious (Science Daily April 2008 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414145705.htm). It has been discovered that the unconscious decision (ie the ‘gut instinct’ or intuition) is far, far more accurate than the conscious, rational decision since the unconscious is processing so much more information. So it is wise to become acquainted with the unconscious process to develop your intuition through this meditative state.
Your breath is the fuel of your voice. The reason all vocal coaches focus on developing their pupil’s breathing is because it supplies the voice with the energy to produce sound.
To increase your capacity for breathing, develop diaphragmatic breathing. This is where you have the capacity to breathe deeply and freely. To isolate where this is, just bend forward and breathe deeply. The only place you will find to breathe will be your diaphragm.
A great tip to overcome performance nerves especially when you are due to give a presentation or address a large meeting is to slow your breathing. Stress can tense up your diaphragm and creates shortness of breath, which in turn prevents you from thinking clearly and affects your voice. Shortness of breath can sound as though you have been running so you can’t finish your sentence successfully. It also is an obvious indicator of nerves – the last thing you need when you want to impress.
Shortness of breath and heart disease are directly linked – there’s a high correlation between poor breathing and high blood pressure. Breathing well is a key to sleeping and feeling well. It’s the key to mental clarity and concentration. And breathing provides 99% of your energy. Studies have shown that oxygen, wellness and energy supply depend on breathing properly – and determine how long you live.
So to live long and prosper, keep breathing!