The Power of Breath
In its most basic form, the power of breathing is understood by us all. We must breathe or we die. Yet, we generally take breathing for granted. After all, our bodies breathe on automatic reflex. However; with intent, and with practice in how deeply we breathe, how fast or slowly we breathe, and the use of good posture, we can also access emotional control from our breath.
Breathing is intrinsically tied to our emotions. Emotions such as fear, anger, joy, trust, love, grief, and confidence are unique physiological wave patterns associated with our breath. Take fear for example. When we are afraid, we hunch our shoulders and take short, quick breaths that restrict airflow to our upper chest leaving us in a state of tension. When we are sad, we hang our heads impeding the flow of air, and we take slow, shallow breaths leaving us in a weakened state. However; when we are feeling safe and confident, we sit straight, head held high, breathing long, slow breaths that flow freely into our lungs enriching our physical and mental well-being.
The trick is that if we model the posture and breathing patterns of a positive emotion, those vibrational patterns can alleviate the impact of a negative emotion; we can effectively exert control over our emotional state. If we experience fear and we intentionally release our shoulders, straighten our spines and take slower, deeper breaths, we will find a sense of calm. In time, with practice, we can extend that emotional control from an individual instance to a conditioned breathing response that automatically kicks in as needed.
Meditational breathing practices build up the necessary strength, muscle memory, and psychological awareness to enable us to breathe with habitual power and ease. When our bodies are accustomed to breathing correctly and calmly, then we can readily slip back into positive breathing vibrations whenever negative circumstances arise. We develop the power to transcend emotional barriers and better fulfill our potential.