Energy Tools 101 – The Benefits of Conscious Breathing

With people being in quarantine for a couple of weeks now, I can certainly feel the shifts in the energy. And I can hear it, too. This world literally got louder. I learnt a long time ago that many people use loud music to no longer hear this tiny, little voice calling you to reflect upon your life. For a long time, I even used this “method,” too. And let me tell you. It only works for so long.  This said, I currently live in an environment where the “loud music method” is widely used. Too bad that I am very noise sensitive. So it’s time to do some conscious breathing and share this tool with you as part of the Energy Tools 101 series.

Conscious Breathing? Err, what?

To be honest, I avoided this tool for a long time. Why should I learn to breathe? I mean, I breathe day-in, day-out without thinking about it. Even at night, when I sleep. Among all the things I have learned to “conquer life,” now it’s even BREATHING I have to learn anew? You must be kidding me! That’s how I thought. And you might be, too. 

The other thing I was annoyed with was the label “conscious” itself. As somebody how always knew what consciousness is and what it’s now, I roll my eyes that a lot of (often not so new) methods are labeled “conscious.” It’s the new hip term and often confused with “mindfulness.” To cut a long story short: I avoided conscious breathing no matter what. Also, because I couldn’t see the benefits. Therefore, I consider it important that you learn about the benefits first, And then we go into practice if you choose so.

Five benefits to enjoy

Conscious breathingBenefits of conscious breathing can be as diverse as people. However, there are some common denominators we all might enjoy.

  1. Conscious breathing will pump more oxygen into your organism. This is important for the functionality of your body. No matter if we are in crisis or not.
  2. Equally important is to give your nervous system a break—means: more relaxation. Often we are not even aware of the tension in our bodies until something starts hurting. Pain always means that energy that is supposed to flow got stuck. Conscious breathing helps you to get energy moving again.
  3. Also, conscious breathing will help you to get beyond all the “mental chatter” for a while. This exact “mental chatter” many people try to “overtone” with loud music. Conscious breathing is a much gentler method because even loud music can stress our nervous systems after a while.
  4. Conscious breathing is an invitation to more creativity in your life. When going beyond the “mental chatter,” you’ll reach the realms of your innate creativity. Don’t just think in terms of painting or doing some DIY. Creativity is much grander than this. It also includes ways how to respond to the challenges of your life differently
  5. Last but not least, conscious breathing will help you to gain more clarity about your life and career when practiced regularly. And most important, it means that you are open to experience more of YOUR LIFE!

Let’s practice!

There are more benefits. I will, however, stop here to list them because I want YOU to practice and find out what additional benefits are. And now it’s time for practice!

Please get comfortable. As you are most likely at home, thanks to the virus, please find a comfortable space to lie down—ideally, a bed or your couch. If you are afraid that you might falling asleep doing the exercise, don’t worry. It’s actually great! If you freeze easily, make sure to cover yourself with a blanket.

Now, get very present with your body. Feel into your toes, your feet, your legs and hips, up your body. Get very present with every part of it. And don’t forget to breathe! 🙂 When you are present with your whole body, take a long, deep breath in, stop a second, then take a long breath out. Great! And again, take a long, deep inhale. Pause! And exhale! Stay present with your body! And again. Inhale, exhale. Make sure that the inhale doesn’t overpower the exhale and vice versa. Inhale is equally important to the exhale. There is no better or worse.

Do this exercise as long as you wish. In the beginning, it might not be working for you longer than two or three minutes. And then you get bored. Don’t worry. That’s fine. In this case, stop the exercise and get back to it later. Conscious breathing also means no force. And we are used to force ourselves to all sorts of things. Please don’t add breathing to this list.

Integrate Conscious Breathing into your day

To enjoy the benefits of conscious breathing, it’s important to make it a new habit. This means, do this exercise regularly. What regularly is for me, might be different for you. So please feel free to play around with this tool and know that you can’t do anything wrong.

As an inspiration, please find below some of the ways I use conscious breathing:

  1. “Cooling” my nervous system in noisy environments
  2. Starting my day, still in bed. I combine it with the choice of having a great day no matter what (more about choice in an upcoming article)
  3. Delaying a reactive response when I feel “triggered” (it might be helpful to combine breathing with some counting to distract the mind, I recommend counting numbers)
  4. Breaking “thought loops.” When I feel that I overthink a situation, I take a couple of deep breaths and – in my mind – step away from the situation. This gets me into an observer mode and out of the “thought loop.”
  5. In nature. For me, the most beautiful way to practice conscious breathing. I love all sorts of animals, trees and flowers. Enjoying them with some conscious breaths makes the experience even richer.

And now it’s time for you to integrate conscious breathing into your life. Have a great time practicing, and if you have questions, please feel free to send me a mail here. Also, I would be interested in hearing about your experiences. So drop me a line if you choose. Or arrange a discovery call to find out more about conscious breathing and other NEL Coaching services.

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Have a wonderful time, and stay safe!