“A Quiet Place” – How to create focus and calm
Updated: Oct 8, 2022
· Feeling stressed?
· Overwhelmed with the amount of tasks you have to complete and wish you had more hours in the day?
· Too many people wanting your attention and not enough time for yourself?
Does this sound familiar to you?
Did you know that there are breathing techniques to allow you to deal with whatever life throws at you on a daily basis?
The Benefits of Breathing:
In the previous blog ‘The Power of the Breath’, it was discussed how to effectively breathe, but what actually are the benefits of deep breathing?
1. Increase in endorphin release, which can promote relaxation and release pain by endorphins being a natural painkiller.
2. Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing can remove toxins from the body via the stimulation of the lymphatic system and promote blood flow via the action of the diaphragm. This increase in blood flow can increase energy levels via the increase of oxygen flow.
3. Breathing in the correct way (belly and rib cage) will allow the posture to improve; allowing the shoulders to roll back and the sternum and clavicle to lift upwards.
4. Digestive issues may be resolved through the increased blood flow through the intestines. Digestion can also be enhanced via a calmer state of mind. This ‘rest and digest’ response is initiated through the parasympathetic nervous system which can occur through deeper breathing.
Pranayama and the energy within…
Our bodies are home to over 72,000 channels, known as nadis, that allow prana (our energy being or life force) to flow throughout. When these channels are congested, we can become stressed and unable to function mentally as well as physically. Techniques involving the breath, known as pranayama practise, can allow the nadis to flow freely; making us feel healthier. Taking time to draw our focus inwards to what we are feeling within our bodies rather than the mind can create a level of calmness through the concentration on the task at hand (breathing). Not only can this allow us to be more mentally aware, it can be very effective when trying to juggle a million different activities within our lives and becoming stressed and overwhelmed as a result.
Practising breathing techniques:
Sama-Vritti pranayama (meaning equal breath) can be practised to gain a better mind and body connection and control. It is performed by allowing the length of the inhalation to be the same as the exhalation. Once the breath flows naturally whilst seated comfortably, start to count the duration of the inhalations and exhalations, noting the differences. Noting the timing of the inhalation and exhalation, aim should then be made to make these equal for a comfortable count (3-5 seconds is a usual time to start with). With practice, longer or deeper breaths can be performed, whilst staying relaxed and comfortable.
So next time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or unable to concentrate on one thing at a time, take a moment to sit and count your breathing. A small and simple task could change the whole outlook to your day and change your life from the inside out.