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The use of breathing to enhance your well-being

Maybe this sounds a bit obvious, but this post is not focused around the fact you are breathing, but rather on how you are doing it. By applying a small change, you may experience a greater sense of well-being which can help not only in your personal life but also in your professional one as well.

Most of us are born with the ability to breathe deeply and slowly right from our first day. I remember staring down adoringly when my boys were sleeping, as babies, and noticing how their inhaling was deep as they filled their bellies with air, followed by a slow exhale.

Something, however, changes as we reach adulthood where we can spend much of our time in our heads thinking about this and worrying about that. The default often becomes to take shorter breaths that often only go as far as filling our chests rather than our bellies.

A few moments taken daily with just a few breathes designed to help your well-being can help reduce anxiety and stress levels which, if left unchecked, can have negative implications for both your physical and mental health. Simply breathing as many of us did as babies can help improve your well-being.

Those of you who participate in yoga may already be one step further ahead and benefit from the use of certain breathing techniques that have enhanced your health. For those who don’t, the below provides four simple breathes that, if you practice daily or even just a few times a week, can enhance your well-being.

  • earth breath
  • inhale through the nose
  • exhale through the nose

This breath helps to ground and stabilise our energy. Given the increasing physical and mental demands the work environment can have on us, the use of this breath can help slow down our rhythm and help balance us when we feel stressed or anxious. In connecting with the earth, the qualities of calmness and patience become more accessible as we experience a release from the burnt-out feelings of exhaustion.

  • water purification breath
  • inhale through the nose
  • exhale through the mouth

Water helps to generate flow and, used here, this breath could help remove blocks and feelings of getting stuck. The water breath can help purify the emotional body. Sometimes we soak in a bath to experience the soothing and dissolving qualities of the warm water. Within the bustle of one's work environment, with its quest for increased revenues, this breath can be useful to soothe and dissolve the negative emotions that can cling on to the individuals who are exposed to it. Also, it’s more practical than taking a midday soak at work.

  • fire purification breath
  • inhale through the mouth
  • exhale through the nose

Fire has the quality of energising and lifting spirits as we consciously connect with our true nature which is light. When one becomes stressed, this light can fade, as life takes on a darker and heavier appearance.

Within the workplace, these darker episodes may coincide with a less productive performance at work, as we lose our way. Reconnecting with the fire element helps us to connect with our purpose and power. In connecting with the light once again, one may find more clarity to move forward and grow.

  • air purification breath
  • inhale through the mouth
  • exhale through the mouth

The air element connects us to our minds and thoughts. Sometimes our thoughts can become muddled and confused and can impair one's clarity. Some thoughts around our self-image that arise out of our conditioning can lead to a negative connection with life.

Taking this into the workplace can negatively impact performance, as one's intuition and insight may get dulled. The air breath can help you reconnect to the qualities of clarity and insight as you detach from the conditioning that created a negative impact.

The benefits are there, and all it requires is just a few minutes a day.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Simon Garcia - Counsellor / Psychotherapist in Central London and Herts

I hold a belief that no one single approach can treat all clients. That is why I use an integrative counselling and psychotherapy approach that includes the use and practice of Cognitive Behavioural, Humanistic, Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytical Therapies (amongst others).
Together, we will discover the way forward through your difficulties.… Read more

Written by Simon Garcia - Counsellor / Psychotherapist in Central London and Herts

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