Applying What You Already Have
If you read our last installment you know we’re spreading awareness about using the power of intentional breathing without religion. Nothing against religion, but that’s not a commitment one needs to make to enjoy the benefits of focused breathing. It’s an inherent human ability.
Quick review, the benefits of intentional breathing:
Improved blood pressure
Heart rate more stable
Better control of stress levels
More clarity in thinking through life’s challenges.
Those benefits appear to be worth a few minutes a day, say 3 to 10, as a reasonable request for your intentional breathing.
Let’s add another benefit, one we list above. All of us need those benefits, but this one can make you free. Free, how?
Free of thoughts and feelings you did not choose to experience. Good to ponder what that would mean to you.
Last time we talked about the foreign mind. It’s all around us, a major downpour of information, ways to believe, ways to be so much noise after your money, time, and in some cases, for your soul.
Three to ten minutes of Silence from that all that noise…ponder the power of that, please.
Stop, breath, reflect, restore, and recharge. Not a bad proposition. What if you could turn it into a habit?
This is about taking control of our mind, because the demand for right decisions is on us 24/7. A few moments of reprieve are in order, wouldn’t you say? Would you like to hear your True Voice speak, tell you what’s up?
In our last article we proposed four simple breathing techniques and we asked you to try some or all of those techniques for less than 3 minutes to see for yourself if, indeed, some kind of positive change occurs.
Quick review: need to Concentrate? Breath in and out through your nose, full nasal. Reduce Anxiety? In through your nose, out through your mouth. Energy? In through your mouth, out nasally.
Sleep, Feel Better? In and out through your mouth, in comfortable position.
All we’re looking for at this point is a change, a shift, something to build on. When your mind sees this, it will know what to do, if you tell your mind to do it. Control. When you decide to breath intentionally you are telling your mind what you want. Your mind will go to work as you tell it. Power.
Let’s add a little science now, something to give you a way to measure the effect: Beta waves and Alpha waves. For my own sake, I’m going to keep this simple.
We’re in beta when we’re physical, noisy, juggling duties and needs, at the factory, if you will, gates, whistles, managers with clipboards: ON. We all know this one well, since it’s where we find our success and our stress, our joy and our horror: where all of the stuff hitting the fan happens.
When we go into alpha we’re calm, maybe ready for sleep or maybe, as athletes describe, we’re in an active alpha, or “in the zone.” We can slip into alpha watching the TV, when some other story takes over our story, our mind rests from its noise.
Or we go into alpha consciously to see, to perform, to rest efficiently. Something wrong with that?
Your breath is leading you to your True mind, a source we can trust. Intentional breathing is one way there. The best place to test it, or more importantly, the best place to make changes is when the issues arise, at the moment of the wound, insult, humiliation, that horrible feeling, whatever the events.
For instance, the boss yanked you from a task making you look like a fool when you were just doing what he said in the first place. You push it down because you need this job and you’ll be off in an hour. The problem is you don’t push things down so easy and you already feel this incident ruining your night.
When you get in your car upset, you peel out of there with an attitude; or you can breathe with the intention of changing the situation. We’d use the Reduce Anxiety breath, in through your nose, out through your mouth. Set your phone timer to three minutes if you like but try it with the intention of changing the moment. There might be some bitterness on exhale, I guess. Better out of you than left inside, don’t you think?
Then if you really want to expand this, when you’re sitting with your date on the way to the virus-safe restaurant, use Feeling better, in and out through your mouth, sitting comfortably. This is a great way to anticipate pleasure, a good time, and be in the mood for it.
Believe it or not, doing those three minutes can actually transport you to what is called alert alpha state, which we’ll talk more about next time, since I need to increase my vocabulary.