The power of your breath is remarkable and is oftentimes forgotten. Although the saying “Just breathe” is cliche, it is also true. Although, it can be difficult to “just breathe” in moments of extreme emotion, like anxiety, anger, or grief. Intentional breathwork can help you regulate powerful emotions like these, so it is helpful to know about them and practice them before you need them.
Your Breath Is Always With You
One reason why your breath is one of the most powerful tools you have in effectively regulating and processing your emotions is that it is always with you. It does not require you to have something, like a journal, on hand or wait for a time to meet with someone, like a therapist.
Learning practices that build your awareness of your breath allow you to come back to it in moments when you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed. In this way, you can shift from anxiety and overwhelm to peace and ease.
Creating Space to Tune Into Your Breath
It can be helpful to create space in your schedule daily to observe what your breath is like. This could look like taking a few minutes upon waking up in the morning to check in with yourself, or like a formal meditation and breathwork practice.
Approach the time you carve out for yourself with mindfulness, curiosity, acceptance, and non-judgment. Before you can implement tools to regulate your breathing to regulate emotional states such as anxiety or anger, it is important to build awareness first.
If you are ready to explore different breathing practices, below is a list of different techniques to try:
- Deep breathing helps reduce stress and anxiety
- Box Breathing can lower stress and boost concentration
- Alternate nostril breathing can reduce anxiety and stress, and is also used in yoga practices
- Lion’s breath is best when used to relieve stress and tension
- 4-7-8 breathing promotes sleep
When beginning treatment for addiction and mental illness, your treatment team may practice one or many of these breathing techniques with you, among other coping strategies, to help you regulate your emotions. Healing is about learning to respond to your emotions appropriately rather than react to them.
By remembering your breath is your superpower, creating space, and learning specific strategies to help you in your journey, you can learn to better cope with the feelings life presents you with.
Learning to regulate your breath is an important piece of learning to regulate your emotions. Through breathwork, you can access safety and stillness. At Avalon Malibu, we realize how difficult it can be to begin creating safety in your body after spending so much time with mental illness or addiction weighing heavy on your mind, body, and spirit. Our team is here to support you as you learn strategies to regulate your breath and emotions so you can heal. Call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.