The Significance of Breath is Pathbreaking. 2020 started as a stressful year with wildfires in Australia followed by a Coronavirus outbreak. It has been arguably the most difficult start of a millennial year for almost all the countries in the world. Stress is everywhere. Stress has taken a toll on everyone.
How to solve this stress? Try breathing.
The key factor to understand in this article is transforming the way you react to stress. Notice I am not saying to eliminate stress in our lives. That is simply not realistic. The key to healthy living even in difficult times is to learn how to manage the stress.
Stress grows from the very fabric our lives are made from. It is extremely difficult to immediately transform that. What is very do-able however- is to alter the way we react in meltdowns and stressful situations. We can turn on a calmer way of living. Operating from a path of calmness enables us to remain aware and able to make positive decisions about how to react in different situations.
Our health benefits in many ways when we do this. Our bodies’ nervous systems have two ways of functioning. One way is called “fight or flight”. The other way our mind will respond to situation is by calming. It is often thought that the fight and flight response our mind makes to different scenarios is by far the most powerful. This could be a misconception. It is true that anyone who has experienced this emotionally powerful reaction may find it overwhelming in many ways. Its power seems primal and indeed it is.
The body’s second way to reacting to scenarios by calming is equally as dramatic in its affect when we experience it. It can be breath taking to experience how quickly and completely calm can be accessed by our minds when we have taught it to do so. The results are just as dramatic at times especially in contrast to the panic feeling of fight or flight.
During the anxious packed moment when our minds experience the fight or flight response our sympathetic nervous systems will produce the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. A perception of stress will trigger your body to release them in situations such as traffic jams, flat tires on the side of the highway or an approaching work deadline.
After the initial excitement of the fight or flight syndrome our system will ideally turn this off allowing the body’s parasympathetic nervous system to take control. Recent research reveals that many people maintain a high level of cortisol in their systems all day long. This is the result of constantly perceiving our environment as being stressful. The inevitability that results is chronic health difficulties. The lethal condition of high blood pressure is one example of this. It will often cause digestive problems, general fatigue and even heart disease. What is often overlooked or misunderstood is that we have the ability to turn on our calming systems. When we do this we decrease the level of stress hormones in our blood.
This can be accomplished by learning to breathe in a certain way. To do so one must learn to focus on their breath. When we execute a simple in and out breathing technique in slow rhythm at any given moment in any given situation- whether it be in the car, at home or in the office- the body’s response will be a reduction in pulse, lowering of blood pressure and reduced blood-carbon-dioxide levels.