Breathwork as a tool for changeMay 17, 2023
Anyone familiar with breathwork might find the idea of it being used as a tool quite an odd notion. Something so soothing, so energizing, so relaxing does not sound much like a tool, but let me run with this metaphor a little.
If you want to rip out your kitchen, put in something shiny, new, and functional, you are not going to go for it without thinking of all the things you need in order to get the end result. You need the right tools for the job and it is the same with big changes in your life.
When you are facing real change, in your personal or working life, it is easy to think that you can just get through it, that every human being is born with the facility to cope with great upheaval, but the truth is, we are not.
All major change brings stress bubbling up, it becomes a drain on your mental health, your energy and adds more to your already full plate. Breathwork can be used as a tool to navigate these major changes, enabling you not just to cope with them, but to come out on top.
The Stress of Change
Stress comes into every single person's life during a major change. Whether you are the most chill person on the planet, moving home, getting married, or making that big career change, all invite stress no matter how hard you try to eliminate it. These changes disrupt your routine, introduce uncertainty, and challenge your ability to adapt.
There are so many ways to deal with stress, and everyone has their own, but what also happens here is that many of us begin to spiral. While we may want to take a long walk, or a swim, or pamper ourselves to root out the stress, big life changes are all-consuming, the are time-vacuums, and trying to add in any of these stress-relieving activities becomes even more stressful!
Survival mode gets activated and your head is in a state of constant flux, always thinking about the next thing instead of focusing on the task at hand. And what most people don’t realize is that stress is addictive.
We become addicted to the notion of accomplishment, that this gigantic list of things we have to do to navigate these life changes is essential and all-encompassing, and suddenly, everything else in life becomes secondary.
Hey, if you recognize this, you are most certainly not alone. I am not just talking about you, I am talking about your parents, your neighbors, even your boss who seems like they have ice in their veins.
Change = Stress, that is just the way it is.
Why Breathwork Works in Times of Change
Breathwork involves intentionally manipulating your breathing patterns to achieve clarity, focus and calm in your daily life. The medical benefits, completely backed by scientific research have shown that breathwork reduces stress and anxiety, improves focus and concentration, increases energy levels, and enhances overall well-being.
Breathwork centers you, and daily practice helps to heal your nervous system, meaning you are calmer, more productive, more creative, and able to cope with more significant challenges.
The panic mode that is engaged by heaping on stress is negated by daily breathwork practice and your focus sharpened, enabling you to cope with anything.
Now, daily practice sounds like a lot. How are you meant to do breathwork if you cannot find the time to go for that walk, or spend time at a spa?
Well, one of the joys of breathwork is its flexibility. While it can change your life, your life does not have to undergo significant change to let breathwork into your daily routine. Even a five-minute session every day has been shown to reduce stress and allow your focus to sharpen, eliminating the noise that comes with stress.
You can fit in a session before bed, after the shower or just sitting at your desk, and while the more you put in, the more you will get out, even short sessions will start to make a change. And, it is a change that you will feel instantly. This is not an empty practice, where some point down the line you will realize that it is just not working for you.
As soon as you engage with your first breathwork session, you will begin to feel the difference. While breathwork is mental floss, and clearing out your neural pathways, there are also undeniable physical effects of regulating and deepening your breath that you will feel within minutes.
How will Breathwork help in my time of transition?
Reducing stress and anxiety: High levels of stress and anxiety can negatively impact every aspect of your life. By incorporating breathwork techniques into your daily routine, you can reduce stress and anxiety levels, allowing you to gain clarity on the enormity of the tasks ahead, compartmentalize them and move forward in a more productive way.
Improving focus and concentration: Breathwork helps to increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, leading to improved focus and concentration enhancing your cognitive abilities which leads to better decision-making and problem-solving skills.
Enhancing creativity: Breathwork can help you access a state of flow, where you are fully engaged and absorbed in your work. By practicing breathwork techniques you can tap into your creativity and innovation, leading to new ideas and solutions to your issues.
Increasing energy levels: Breathwork also increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream, leading to increased energy and vitality. There is also a boost to your serotonin levels, which gives you a much more positive and confident outlook on your situation.
How to get started with Breathwork
Breathwork, like any other practice, needs you to devote a little attention to it every day. While you can head on YouTube to find a session, it takes a lot of willpower to keep it going alone.
At Spiritual Mixtape we offer a community and library of strong, dedicated breathworks to keep you on track with your practices. The constantly evolving library of breathworks is tailored to fit into your day, with short, refreshing practices and longer, more in-depth ones, each focusing on different aspects of your being, giving you the ability to reshape some of the elements of your personality that don’t suit you.
Mixtape Membership is informal but gives you the accountability needed to keep on your breathwork journey. It also allows you to interact with a community all going through the same processes as you, keeping each other on track to balance your life and overcome your obstacles.
If it is something that you feel will help, you can find more information about Mixtape Membership by clicking here.
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