Be Aware of Your Breathing

Be Aware of Your Breathing

Emotional state and breathing mirror each other. Paying attention to emotions and breathing can help people identify and alter their responses. Fear, anger, and sorrow are the usually the most challenging emotions, and are often reflected in breathing in the following ways:

  • Fear: When people feel afraid, they tend to hold their breath, breathe through their chests or, in extreme cases, hyperventilate. This elevates the stress level in the human body, and decreases the immune system’s ability to fight off illness.
  • Sadness: When people feel sad, they inhale forcefully, but exhale weakly (an example of this is expressed as sobbing). This inhibits the ability to breathe freely and to exude energy.
  • Anger: When people feel angry, they exhale more forcefully than they inhale. This is a defensive state that renders people unable to receive or accept incoming information or energy.

In the midst of a busy day, a cleansing breath is an effective way to release negative energies and return to a place of balance and equanimity. When people exhale, they breathe out not only carbon dioxide and waste gases, but also mental and emotional toxins, concerns, worries, sorrow, anger, and fear.

When people inhale, in addition to oxygen people also take in life energy, light, love, happiness and inspiration. Consciously focusing on inhaling, even for a few breaths, can become an exercise of healing and balance.

Purifying Breath Exercise

To become more mindful of your breathing, try this exercise:

  • Inhale into a soft belly, taking in light, love, and healing energy. Picture this as clear, bright, or sparkling. Feel yourself becoming brighter as you fill with light and joy.
  • Exhale fully, releasing any negative states or feelings. You may picture it as darkness or a fog. If you have anger, fear or sadness, breathe them out. If you have tension, anxieties, or worry, release them as you exhale.