How long can you go without eating? Although some people feel like they are going to "starve" if they don't eat every couple of hours, the truth is that we can go a long time without eating; weeks, maybe even as long as a month. What about without drinking? Only a few days at most, right? What about breathing? We can only last a matter of seconds or minutes without breathing, so it would make sense that how we breathe would have an enormous effect on how we feel.
The average adult breathes at a rate of sixteen to twenty breaths per minute. When it slows down to eight per minute, the brain wave patterns alter so that you feel relaxed yet alert; you have an increased mental awareness. When it gets down to four breaths per minute, inhaling and exhaling being one cycle, then the emotional state one experiences is one of extreme calm, improved visual clarity, heightened sensitivity in the body, and expanded feelings of awareness. When it gets down to one per minute or less, there is an optimization of the two hemispheres of the brain, resulting in a significant lessening of fear, worry, and anxiety, and an increased reliance on intuition.The reality is, our breathing has an impressive effect on not only our physiological states, but our psychological states as well! Ever held a baby whose crying? As they calm down emotionally, their breathing begins to calm perspectively. How about you? Do you notice the connection between your emotional state and your breathing?
Dr. Robert Fried, in his research article The Psychology and Physiology of Breathing, Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Psychology, and Psychiatry, 1993, reported that his exhaustive review of the available literature at the time led him to conclude that normal breathing has been overlooked or under emphasized by much of the medical community. In his studies he revealed that shallow breathing, hyperventilation and other abnormal breathing patterns were a complication of or factor in 50 to 70 percent of medical complaints. He found that by providing training in proper breathing, he could alleviate a range of common maladies, including emotional problems and circulatory difficulties in his patients.
"To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life." -William Londen
How to use this: Begin the habit of diaphragmatic breathing immediately. This is the most practical and effective method for healthy breathing. Always try to breathe deeply and slowly.Your homework (yes, homework) is to take note of your breathing while engaging in physical activities and while at rest. Make a conscious effort to breathe from your diaphragm whenever possible throughout the week. When you feel yourself too relaxed and need to become active, try increasing your rate of breaths per minute. If you want to relax, slow your breathing. It's that profoundly simple.Always breathe deep.You will see and feel the difference when you do!
Have an absolutely outstanding week!
"A master in the art of living draws no sharp
distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind
and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which.
He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and
leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he
always appears to be doing both. "
- Francoise Rene Auguste Chateaubriand
"If you understand, things are just as they are; if you
do not understand, things are just as they are."
- Zen proverb
The Winning Mind Set Tip of the Week is written and produced by Kevin Seaman, with contributing author James Brault.
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