I have been struggling with not so much understanding as with practicing mindful breathing for a while. It used to feel forced, unnatural, even painful and vain. I am finally there and just recently started using it profoundly. I want to share how easy it actually is to discharge anything you don’t want inside and around you. This is the most underrated powerful first aid to anxiety! I use it around 20 times a day, whenever I feel anything heavy and unwelcome. It is then gone in seconds, allowing me to be my true, calm, and collective self, hear, understand, and connect with others better, make wiser choices. I will share the constraints to mindful breathing I have been experiencing and how I have overcome them.
Conscious breathing is said to:
- balance out, restore our bodily systems, healthy energy flow and processes
- connect us to the higher power: our higher self/Source energy/Universe/God
- heal the nervous system, relieve anxiety, stress, fear, any heavy emotion
- rejuvenate, energize, strengthen, power up the body
And it does all that. But here is what may be blocking you from experiencing its full benefits.
Honestly, it felt like a chore. I doubted if it brought any relaxation. Especially those exercises with breathing in, holding it, and breathing out with 10–16 counts. At first I could not even do it that long. My answer to this struggle is not just “practice makes perfect,” but it is about the mindset with which we approach deep breathing in the first place. I noticed that I have been approaching it worrying if it will work, if I can make long counts, if I do it wrong, and “will I have that pain in my throat/chest again?”.Then this becomes exactly what you experience. Expect that you do it right.
We are sadly never taught how to use the most powerful tool at our disposal—our own breathing. When we are stressed, scared, worried, or sad we hold our breath, not realizing how much we intensify those experiences doing so. While we could instead find relief instantly. Shallow breathing is the norm, and then you have to unlearn it, here is how.
Don’t overdo it
I was forcing deep breathing too much. Just do as many counts as feels comfortable to you. Even if in the beginning it is just 3 in, 2 hold, 3 out. To your body it is deep breathing already—more than you normally do, so it will bring benefits. The easier you make it for you, the more often you will want to do it, the sooner you will advance at it.
Not seeing results
This has a lot to do with the expectations of you doing it wrong, so release those. We all have this skill. It just may feel underdeveloped at first. I think that the tips I share will help you get there much sooner than I did. You could, however, also have physical constraints to deep breathing, such as blockage of your throat chakra. I don’t mean medical conditions. But in most cases, it should be resolved by:
- thinking “I am doing it right”
- breathing as deeply as is comfortable
- doing it correctly (exhaling downwardly and actually visualizing that heaviness leaving your body)
How I do it
In my biofield tuning (energy healing) training I have learned to:
- breathe in into the chest
- pull it down into your belly
- then exhale through your feet or tale bone (when seated)
- Breathe out completely
- Release into the ground, connecting to the center of Earth
Breathing straight into the abdomen may feel unclear, so think of your chest filling up first and then air naturally moving down into your pelvis area. You don’t always have to hold it in. I find that holding breath is more suitable when you do not feel under extreme pressure. In the heat of the moment just breathe in deeply and exhale and discharge as forcefully as is comfortable.
To release anxiety
When you are experiencing anxiety and struggle you need to exhale with force. Not just slowly and calmly. You also need to breathe all the air out. Imagine it this way. You accumulate all that does not belong in your body, by filling your inner space with air, then you need to release all of that air, so that it pulls out with it every particle of that heavy unwelcome energy. Release it back into the ground, mother Earth, where this energy will be cleansed. Visualize the channel of energy connecting you to the center of the Earth. Earth is our mother, when you connect to it, it heals, protects, and cleanses you. This step is very important.
When breathing out something unwanted, form letter O with your lips, so that the flow of air is more forceful and powerful. This will allow you to push the air and heavy energy faster out of your system. Make your exhale audible as kind of an “pho” sound. You can also breathe out with a loud sound “ha.” It promotes and feels like a complete deep release. When I am continuously exhaling deeply I use the letter O shape.
The way I use it and when
I am now using deep breathing in any tricky situation. I remember to breathe deeply when I find myself concentrating on work, task, or an errand, and notice I am doing shallow breathing again. The most important use of mindful breathing for me though is releasing what I don’t want to be experiencing.
In an argument
When I am in an argument and notice that I am not listening, am listening to respond, or am in any way bothered by the words of the other person, I pause and take a deep breath asking the air to absorb all that is blocking me from understanding the other person better and be calmer. I then exhale all of that unsettling energy, emotion, and feeling through my mouth (letter o). This is working so well.
When fear attacks
When I feel overwhelmed by fear and negative thoughts I start breathing in as deeply as possible into my belly and then breathe out a little less forcefully, connecting myself to the ground (envision it going through all the floors of your building). I breathe those thoughts and fear out through my feet. Closing your eyes helps to envision this energy discharging from your body. This visualization is our mind’s greatest power, they just don’t teach us how to use it.
When I feel weaker
In those cases I focus on breathing in deeply and calmly (still comfortably) and doing so welcoming love, support, care of the Universe, my higher self, the Source. I imagine each deep breathe restoring and amplifying my power. I then connect to the center of the Earth, and think of it supporting me and nourishing me through that cord. This is so powerful and beautiful. Don’t sweat the envisioning part, you can do it so easily, with just a glimpse of a thought in your head that this is really happening.
When someone makes me angry
When someone on the street annoys or irritates me, I keep walking, giving all my focus to breathing deeply and breathing out forcefully, releasing all the energy they have just tried to send into my field. I keep breathing out for as long as I feel frustration, and I discharge any angry thoughts as well with that breath.
I hope this article helps you understand the mindful breathing better and overcome those obstacles to using this miraculous and powerful tool we all possess, if you happen to struggle with using it like I did. Use the flow of air, love, energy, life force, electricity, as that is what we are actually breathing in, to restore your connection to your best self and your best life experiences. Allow it to heal you anytime anywhere.
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Photo: Rodolfo Sanches Carvalho via Unsplash