How to use Conscious Breathing to Transform Your Life

How to use Conscious Breathing to Transform Your Life

What is conscious breathing?

Harnessing the power of conscious breathing is the first step towards a more mindful, happy and fulfilled life! Sources: 11, 19, 20

There’s a reason why breathing techniques are so popular among the likes of successful people like Wim Hoff & Tony Robbins who swear by various conscious breathing techniques.

Conscious breathing creates a state of greater self awareness as well as being transformative in itself.

Simply put, conscious breathing uses awareness and control of your breathing, by uniting body and mind so you can bring the energy of mindfulness into each moment.

You may wonder what it is about conscious breathing that makes them it so important for health. Since breathing is an important part of the autonomic nervous system, it has been shown that by influencing your breathing, you increase overall awareness as well as improve your health, mood, digestion and much more. Sources: 1, 8

Luckily, anyone can learn the technique of conscious breathing and use it on a regular basis. Conscious breathing can help to strengthen both mental and physical health plus it has the huge bonus of being really easy to do!

The Mental Benefits of Conscious Breathing

There are many benefits to conscious breathing including:

  • decreasing stress
  • improving inner peace
  • reducing fear and worry
  • helping to manage anxiety
  • helping to improve dealing with conflicts and issues

Conscious breathing can also help your mind by giving it enough oxygen to focus and strengthen your concentration. It can have a positive impact on memory and improve test results for students who are taking exams in school. 

The Physical Benefits of Conscious Breathing

Conscious breathing also has a positive impact on your overall physical health too. Reported benefits include:

  • strengthening the lung function
  • reducing asthma
  • positively affecting the cardiovascular system
  • improve sleep
  • improve energy levels as it helps oxygenate the body

Your body needs a constant flow of oxygen to function properly. By getting more oxygen to the body you improve not just the circulation but also the blood flow.

The focus

The practice of self-consciousness can be done by perceiving the emotions that come from different situations and noticing how to breathe through the chest and diaphragm. By paying attention to and observing your breath, you can cultivate mindfulness in your body and mind. Sources: 20

Putting time and attention into your breath while you breathe consciously can help to calm the mind and improve oxygen flow to both the brain and the nervous system.

The more you practice conscious breathing, the better you get at it.

Just Breathe

How to practice conscious breathing

Conscious breathing requires you to focus on how you breathe. It makes you think about the process and helps you to regulate it. Conscious breathing encourages you to live in the moment and enjoy it. 

Here’s a simple way to do it. First off find a quiet room and avoid interruptions from phones, devices and people for 5 to 10 minutes.

Sit comfortably

Then relax and breathe in deeply through your nose. Fill your lungs as much as possible.

As you breathe in, your abdomen will rise.

Hold the breathe for a moment.

Then exhale gently.

You can feel your abdomen go back down as you exhale.

Then repeat the process

You can become more aware of the process by putting your hand on your stomach. Combining meditation with conscious breathing makes the technique even more effective.

Pay attention to the experiences associated with breathing, such as how the breath passes through your nostrils, feels under your skin, how it fills the lungs and then how it feels as it leaves your body.

Full body breathing

Another way to consciously breathe is as follows. Take a big breath each time you inhale, stretch your abdomen and chest and squeeze your diaphragm to drain the rest of the breath. If you notice that you are holding your breath and the tension is building up, a simple technique is to hold your breath pleasantly for as long as possible, then release a larger breath with a whoosh and a sigh of relief. Sources: 6, 9, 14

When you remember to breathe evenly and deeply during the conscious breathing process, it becomes physiologically impossible to maintain muscle tension.

The breath feels more natural, movements feel more effortless and you can feel the beautiful breathing of the body. By consciously using the diaphragm to squeeze you encourage both lungs to breath fully. Sources: 7, 12, 13

The Equal Breathing Exercise

One exercise you can try is The Equal Breathing exercise, which focuses on regular inhalation and exhalation of the same duration. It is a simple and effective deep breathing exercise that can be used almost anywhere.

The idea is to breathe in completely, breathe from the abdomen to the chest and then passively let go with the exhale. Sources: 0, 3

Simple Conscious Breathing Exercise

The simplest conscious breathing exercise as follows. Breathe in deep oxygen, hold your breath for 3-4 seconds and then exhale with a sensation in your nose that you cannot feel.

When you release the breath and breath slowly and gently, you will experience the emotions generated by conscious breathing.

Breathing with Yoga & Meditation

Whilst conscious breathing is a part of both meditation and yoga, trying to use some breathing techniques in yoga can be difficult. As an example for first timers going into Hot Yoga classes, many struggle with keeping their mouths closed in the 90 degree heated room whilst practicing. The act of conscious breathing helps to make this become second nature for practitioners who make conscious breathing a part of their routine.

Taking the time to consciously breathe as a part of life changes the way you live in the moment. By paying attention to the sensations of the breath every time you breathe in or out, you can notice your inner state and adjust to the world around you.

As you become more aware of breathing, steps can be taken to correct your breathing patterns for better health and well-being. If you pay attention not only to inhaling and exhaling, you bring your mind back into the body, but also your heart, thoughts and emotions. Sources: 5, 6, 19, 21

Conscious breathing is a teachable process that is easy to learn. It can have a positive influence on many aspects of your life.

Let me know in the comments if this is something you do? How do you practice conscious breathing, and what impact it’s had on you.

Sources:

0: https://www.shiftcollab.com/blog/a-mindful-moment-for-conscious-breathing

1: https://www.centralathlete.com/blog/the-four-benefits-of-conscious-breathing

2: https://teamsunwellness.com/2020/01/31/threebreathexercises/

3: https://www.kymburls.com/post/my-conscious-connected-breathing-experience

4: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-purpose-of-deep-conscious-breathing/

5: https://ashleyneese.com/stress-relief-3-conscious-breathwork-practices/

6: https://theenneagramatwork.com/conscious-breathing-practices

7: https://www.doyou.com/10-reasons-conscious-breath-and-flow-will-change-your-life/

8: https://www.sophianichealing.com/blog/2014/8/3/the-importance-of-conscious-breathing-in-creating-health

9: http://www.compassionstrengths.com/Conscious_Breathing.html

10: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/fiona-reilly/the-value-of-conscious-br_b_14778268.html

11: https://www.dennislewis.org/practices-exercises/conscious-breathing-experiment-breath-awareness/

12: https://www.abmp.com/textonlymags/article.php?article=1889

13: https://www.bodywindow.com/conscious-breath.html

14: https://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/mindful-breathing-10-minutes-a-day-can-lead-to-better-health/

15 : https://fractalenlightenment.com/30424/spirituality/change-your-life-through-conscious-breathing

16 : https://www.soulbody.co/blog/how-to-breathe

17 : https://www.stillwatermpc.org/dharma-topics/conscious-breathing-do-i-do-that-3/

18 : https://www.embodiedself.net/conscious-breathing

19 : https://mindfulnessacademy.org/en/mindfulness-essentials/practices

20 : https://coachcampus.com/coach-portfolios/research-papers/sarah-shokraie-the-power-of-conscious-breathing/

21 : https://www.theguesthouseocala.com/conscious-breathing-and-healing/

22 : https://claritychi.com/conscious-breathing-your-mental-health/

Are Burnout and Depression the same thing?

Are Burnout and Depression the same thing?

Truly knowing the difference between burnout and depression is the first step towards finding the right solution for whatever hole you may be in right now.

Whilst the extreme end of burnout can be associated with physical and mental disorders, which can often be very difficult to recover from. The real priority is to treat burnout as something that can accompany a mental health condition. That said burnout is not necessarily a mental illness such as anxiety and depression.

In fact, experts believe that illnesses such as depression and anxiety are what actually lead to burnout, and that it is important to address your symptoms sooner rather than later. For business owners who are overworked and emotionally exhausted, their symptoms can jeopardize their work if they over compensate and work through mental illness, and manifest in the form of something such as depression.

So if burnout and depression can look clinically the same, why is depression so often in a category of it’s own? How can we know if we are suffering directly from depression or becoming depressed. And how can we tell if we are actually suffering from burnout?

If the difference between stress and burnout is the degree to which you show symptoms, then it is important to understand how you can distinguish between stress signs and burnout signs.

Treatment

Treatment of burnout and depression can overlap, but the big difference is that burnout, unlike depression, is not usually treated with medication. You want to be careful not to confuse burn-out with depression or depression with burnout because the remedies are different. If depression is ruled out as a diagnosis, treatment depends on whether one believes they are suffering from burnout or not.

So one solution is to visit your GP and ask them to test to see if you are suffering with depression. If the diagnosis is no, then the chances are that it is burnout. If it’s burnout, this is not something that can be healed with antidepressants.

Some of the best things that can help with burnout are things that can be difficult to implement. For example, you need as much sleep and rest as possible. Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and managing the mindset as much as possible.

The Psychology

Clinical psychologist Gulcin Senyuva says that while depression is usually unrelated to work, business or life it can result from experiencing life events or trauma of any kind, it is not just the nature of work that causes burnout.

What many of us do when we get burn-out is do more work because one of the causes of burnout is congestion. Even with burnout, you can categorize the symptoms of depression, as it is a combination of many different symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depression and anxiety.

Burnout, depression and anxiety are considered separate from people, but Schönfeld believes it might be more useful to see them as a continuum.

Some may think that burnout is a mental condition, which is mostly caused by mental illness, while the others are mostly physical ailments. But symptoms of depression and exhaustion are not necessarily interchangeable, says Dr. Schönfeld.

While some people cope with both burnout and the health symptoms associated with chronic stress, according to Schönfeld, it is important to recognize burnout for what it is, and not as a kind of “depression” that occurs in response to a terrible work situation.

It is also important to remember that if someone experiences both burnout and depression then it’s likely to impact other areas of their lives as a result.

In short, Burnout and Depression are not the same thing. They both have very similar symptoms and both can be difficult to diagnose. But the important thing to remember is to seek medical advice. Regardless of whether it’s burnout or depression you are suffering from, it’s important to address the situation at the earliest possible time.

My experience

Both depression and burnout if left untended to can cause all sorts of issues both mentally and physically. My own burnout led to me becoming paralyzed from the neck down. Because I refused to pay attention to the warning signs.

Don’t delay, if you’re feeling the symptoms of confusion, stress, sleeplessness and fatigue on a consistent basis. Seek help from a professional.

Take a look at my meditations which can help you with burnout. www.aysedurmush.com/shop