The breath is linked to our automatic nervous system. Daily breathing practices activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with resting and digesting i.e. a more peaceful mind and body.
Here are some health benefits of breathing :
- Decrease anxiety & depression.
- Increases happiness and optimism.
- Improve sleep.
- Strengthen our ability to regulate emotions.
- Improve trauma symptoms.
- Reduce impulsivity, cravings & addictions.
- Decrease stress & regulates our body’s level of cortisol.
- Strengthen our immunity by altering genes responsible for stronger immunity.
- Reduce pain and activation of pain centers on the brain.
Kabat-Zinn makes clear the powerful connection between meditation and breathing when he writes, “The breath is the current connecting body and mind…It is the current of life.” Meditative breathing is a way to connect with the here and now, which is life.
I started writing this post a while back but I think it is still valuable to share….
It seems I am in a “hypo-manic” phase at the moment. Handy having a daughter who is a doctor living with you and noticing the signs! I don’t think I would have realised it otherwise. I am not sure if I am driving everybody else nuts but I am certainly driving myself nuts. My hands won’t keep still. If it is not my hands I am moving my feet. I find myself looking for patterns in anything and keep tracing them around in my mind. I can be drawing the same pattern over and over in my mind. I am going from tons of energy to not wanting to do anything but climb into bed and pulling the sheets over my head and never climbing out. Living with Bi-polar and Depression is not easy for you or anybody around you. I know that for myself. Of course living with a doctor does have it’s advantages of knowing when your “manic” phase kicks in.
I have just spent the morning contacting people from my past. Some from very very long ago that my family would probably shake their head and say – Why on earth? Very weird? Do you think that was a good idea? That is another thing I need to watch out for is impulsiveness. Thinking and pondering myself later I can understand why they might say so but yes it was actually a very good idea I did!
I find I am stuck in my own mind. I seem to miss half sentences. Now that does drive everyone nuts. I am forgetful. I hate myself for being like this.
That’s another thing, my self esteem has gone. I am thinking of the new business I want to start. I truly believe that I can make a difference but my close family think differently. Admittedly I have been unable to work for a number of years but I am craving intellectual stimulation and that “I can make a difference” feeling. My strengths during my working career included being work very people orientated and very innovative. I coached many of my staff members. My current life style is nothing like that at the moment. I am like a hermit. I let myself be totally dominated and I am not taking decisions or fighting back. As for what I am doing, well I hate house work 😆
I just want to feel alive.
I do want to buy things and spend money but I don’t have any fortunately and as it is so ingrained in me not to buy on credit, I am safe there. As for anxiety, I think everything will go wrong and with that mindset it tends to do that. Shaking, heart racing, nervous, you name it. Both symptoms of “manic” behaviour.
All I can say that I am lucky that my daughter picked it up and whenever I find myself doing these things I can try to put a stop to myself.
The worst though is I know what to do in a situation like this. I have had all the coaching experience with others but I find it difficult to practice what I preach as I won’t take the time for myself to use these techniques. So many excuses…. though by publishing this I am taking one of the steps to calm myself down and make that difference.
Now to get some time for quality meditation and mindfulness, some excercise and all the other good things I should be doing. Don’t forget about eating, your body needs that energy and it is so easy to forget that when you are on an energy rush.
I will share how it is going. 😊 it can only get better. Can you see I am using NLP and affirmations in one 😆 I know it may be tough but sometimes these very impulsive ideas can be channelled into some very worthwhile causes, maybe even helping yourself for looking at your dreams and possible ways you can do this. Of course without being dangerous or spending money! Don’t let yourself be broken down and keep your mind on what you can do well. Forget the negatives – take one negative at a time and replace it with a positive. Check with someone of course that you are not being too over the top but use those energies for the good of others.
I hope some of these tips and experiences might just help you feel that little bit better and recognise your own symptoms before you do anything “stupid”) or feel “stupid”. You are never that!
Oh and of course don’t forget to check with your Doctor about those meds 🙂
and if I have made some grammar and spelling mistakes it is just that my impulsivity has kicked in after editing this article for the 10th time!