Everyone in today’s world seems to be scurrying around so quickly and working diligently each day to complete each task on our “to do” list. This mad scramble of endlessly doing is robbing Americans of one of the most important things in life… inner peace. You may be surprised at just how simple it is to regain balance and get back in touch with really matters. Taking a moment to do one simple task, may make all the difference in your mental state of mind, according to a recent Independent (U.K. worldwide news publication) article.
Simple Breathing Technique
We have all experienced situations in life where we feel we are at an impasse our ability to stay calm and collected. Using a simple breathing technique is said to help calm the mind and level out emotions, while lowering the physical and mental effects of stress.
Taking a short time out from your busy schedule, to focus on your breathing, may be all it takes to realize mental and emotional benefits—improving long and short term mental health.
The technique is called the “coherent breathing” method and it was created by a life scientist and author, Stephen Elliott. Elliot wrote a book based on his breathing method; the book is called The New Science of Breath.
Elliot practiced several Eastern forms of yoga in various regions of the world including China, India, and Kashmir. His experience in Eastern practice gave Elliot the inspiration to invent coherent breathing. The skill involves learning and applying consciousness about the way one breathes—inhaling and exhaling at approximately 5 breaths per minute.
The technique, while simple in nature, is said (by Elliott) to have a profound effect on overall wellbeing. “The bottom line is that when we do not breathe well, we do not feel well either physically or mentally,” Elliott told BMED Report. “I expect that we’ll find that many of these advantages ultimately accrue from increased blood flow and perfusion to the brain,” added Elliott.
Psychiatrists, Patricia Gerbarg, and Richard Brown, utilize the coherent breathing method in their workshops called “Breath, Body Mind.” The workshops were designed to enable clients to learn simple techniques to be able to bring a sense of peace into their daily lives. “We wanted a short program that could be quickly given to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg said.
Breathing deeply, at a slower rate has been shown to have several benefits in the body, including:
- Reducing tension
- Promoting relaxation
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing anxiety
- May improve GI problems
- Reducing stress
- Increasing the brain’s supply of oxygen
- Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (which promotes a state of calmness in the body)
- Quieting the mind
- Taking the focus away from the worries
“The great thing about coherent breathing is that you can do it wherever you are, whether you’re sitting at your desk, on your morning commute or taking a walk in the park,” says the Independent.
“Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress,” states The American Institute of Stress.
Focusing on the breathing is the foundation of most mindfulness and meditation practice programs. It doesn’t really matter which technique you use, but rather, what works best for you. The most important thing to keep in mind is that a simple breathing technique involving focusing on the breath, is a great tool for those who plan to live past 100 well!