Impact of Breath on Well-being and Creativity

The quality of our life depends on the state of our mind. The leading cause of most major diseases in the world today is stress. This can be simply defined as the state of mind not being in the present moment. When we are caught up with emotional troubles of the past and the anxiety of the future we are hardly present and in the moment: thus our actions and decisions suffer. Our mind has a tendency to vacillate and as a result becomes unclear, clouded and filled with inner noise.  Stress causes the intellect to get coloured and perceptions become quite limited. We are not able to be open to others perspective and cannot incorporate others’ views. When we are upset the memory stores impressions of negative experiences and prevents us from moving ahead or from taking risks in our workplace and in relationships. It is said that we have sixty thousand thoughts a day and each thought is an impulse of energy. It is the thoughts that drive every action. It is therefore imperative that we have high quality of thoughts and this can only come with increased levels of energy.  When energy is high and we are relaxed we get the most creative and thus we are able to solve problems more adeptly and efficiently.

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Emotional storms arise without warning whether at work or at home.  We are lashed by the waves of uncertainty and get thrown around by the winds of change. Suddenly we are caught off guard and all reason and logic fails us and we end up making the worst decisions and feel the panic in our mind body complex. The noise inside can prevent us from reaching our potential and allowing us to be in a clear state of mind. We are pulled into the past thoughts linked to incidents that perpetuate anger and regret or we or constantly worried of what the future will bring. This wear and tear creates toxins in the body and we end up falling prey to disease. This is not just limited to the body as psycho-somatic disorders but also commonly takes the form of mental disease.

 The irony here is that we are taught subjects in our education system from Math, Chemistry, Economics, Biology etc. but the most essential education on how to handle our mind and emotions has never been taught. We could be the brightest in our field and yet the least skilled in managing our own stresses and inner noise.

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The Breath holds the secret to our wellness and creativity. It has a direct link to our mind and body.  The more we breathe correctly and fully we can influence the state of the mind.  If we can manage our own mind then we are more in control of our lives. Every emotion has got a corresponding pattern of breath and a sensation in the body that arises due to it. We can notice that with anger, a shallow and rapid breath pattern is created and the body could become warm or perspire. Fear is another example where one can observe short breaths with the emphasis on inhalation and where the body may become cold and frozen. In love and happiness one breathes longer, deeper and the emphasis is on the exhalation and body is relaxed.

We are affected by all that is outside and then we experience the result inside. We only know the process of “Out to In” which means that what we perceive from our external environment we experience it in our mind and body as emotions and sensations. Words of others affect us whether praise or criticism and we react without processing the information.  If we could hone our ability to be sensitive to the inner environment we would be able to manage our responses better and be more in control of or emotions and actions.  This awareness gets developed through breathing techniques. Imagine all the times you could have stopped yourself from reacting in the present to the emotions experienced of some of the past. How would your life would be right now?

We cannot always change the situations around us or the stress that appears in our lives due to work/relationships but we can alter the way we handle our expressions and responses. When the inner noise and emotions are settled through long deep rhythmical breath we experience an amazing phenomenon. We are in the moment. This is our wealth. We are equipped to make better decisions and are able to take those steps we need to in order to move towards our goals more efficiently than when we are bombarded by the thoughts of past and future. Navigating without the traffic of our thoughts we reach our goals faster and with more ease.

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Good health can be described as a disease-free body, quiver-free breath, stress-free mind, obsession-free intellect, trauma-free memory, ego that is all inclusive and the self that is able to tap its true and infinite potential. When the stress is eliminated out of the system there is harmony and energy. Breathing well and deeply, creates more energy which translates into more awareness and throws out the stress and unwanted negative emotions such as frustration, anger, regret, disappointment etc. Awareness is the key ingredient if we want to adapt and change our destiny. With this we can perceive situations more correctly and with an open mind. With awareness we can process situations better and observe the inner emotions and sensations before they erupt thus enabling us to express more clearly and with good judgement. Times of stress and crisis is when we need our equilibrium the most and there is no better life jacket than our own Breath. This is a wealth that we possess and it is so close to us.  We only need to know and experience the power it holds. Our destiny can change with one good decision and it can also change with one bad one.

art of living logoThe daily stresses in the Building and Construction industry is considerably high and based on the feedback from many of our readers we decided to present you this article to comemorate  International Yoga Day. It has been contributed by Leena Gupta, who is a life coach, corporate trainer, and senior international faculty of the Art of Living foundation travels the world sharing the powerful secrets of the breath and its ability to impact our life and our creative potential. You can get in touch with the foundation at info@apexprogram.org