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  • Writer's pictureJulian DeWees

A Healthy Life is a Healthy Mind Housed within a Conscious Breath



There are endless pathways to take when searching for good health, but the mind is where the search should begin and often ends. I say this because the mind is so powerful that it can create and even cure illnesses. The first place to look in all moments of poor health, injury, or disease is the mind. When stuck in the external hamster wheel of searching for the right pill, right diet, right medical procedure, or the right therapy one may lose hope and ultimately sabotage promising scientific proof by convincing oneself that nothing will work.


Like I said earlier, the mind is powerful, so, if you think it will not help you, chances are it will not. This cycle can be super frustrating and debilitating in some instances, but with practice and the sheer will to heal a positive connection can be made between the mind and body. This positive connection will ultimately amplify positivity and relaxation so that the body’s natural drive to regain homeostasis will kick into high gear. Then, when relaxation is amplified most if not all bodily imbalances will be removed from the physical experience leaving the body feeling fresh, energized, and ready to receive additional therapeutic help if needed. If you want to take a pill, take a “chill pill” and your body will do the rest.


Kidding aside, how do you heal yourself with your mind? As I mentioned earlier, it takes practice and a lot of willpower to train your mind so that it will connect in a positive and healing way to your body. There are a multitude of practices that can aid in this process. For simplicity's sake, I will focus on the oldest and most readily available to us, “conscious breathing.” The simple act of consciously slowing down and deepening your breathing pattern has clinically proven to bring the body into healing states of rest and recovery very much like that of the restorative properties of a good night’s sleep. Guess what? The mind controls your breathing! It also controls your thoughts, your heart rate, tons of other crucial bodily functions, and basically every way you perceive your entire existence. Again, your mind is powerful!


Now, back to conscious breathing. With your mind, you can change the way you breathe. It is simple, free, and takes only a few minutes to accomplish. One thing to note is that when consciously breathing you must engage the diaphragm. (The internal muscle used in deep belly breathing) You will know you have engaged your diaphragm when your muscles are relaxed and your belly expands freely with each inhale. Marylou Gantner, a Scientific Relaxation Specialist at The American Institute of Stress put it this way, “Each time the diaphragm descends downward, it massages the liver, offering a gentle massage for all the internal organs, including many ductless glands. Breathing with the diaphragm creates a gentle therapeutic rhythm in this deep inner region of the body. Breathing this way, allowing the breath to soothe our bodies, is known as the ‘relaxation response.’” (p. 10) The more relaxed you are the better you are because a relaxed state creates the optimal conditions to heal in all areas of your life, mind, body, and soul.


With that said, let’s breathe!


This breathing exercise I am about to share with you has been borrowed from Tracy Litt’s book “Worthy Human”, although the exhale at the start is something I thought of. Okay, so the exercise goes like this:


1) Sit in a relaxed position with the spine straight and muscles relaxed in your body and face.


2) Then, exhale almost like a sigh in order to let go of whatever you were doing prior to starting the exercise.


3) Then, the breath cycle begins. Inhale through the nose activating your diaphragm and expanding your belly for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, exhale through the mouth for four seconds, and hold your breath again for four seconds. If you want, you can imagine a flag going up a flagpole as you inhale and down as you exhale.


4) Repeat this cycle at least three times. Ten cycles are optimal and take less than two minutes to complete.


Well, hope you enjoyed this lung-filling post! :) The key element of this post is that the mind is powerful, especially in regard to your overall health, and one very convenient way to tap into that power is through conscious breathing.


I now invite you to take a few moments out of your day to breathe deeply and purposefully and then take note of how it impacts your day in a positive way.



Take care!



Till next time!



This is Julian with Noonday Star Coaching



References:


Gantner, M. (2018, June). The Healing Power of Breath. American Institute of Stress. Retrieved April 26, 2023, from https://www.stress.org/wp-content/uploads/Newsletter/Contentment%20June%202018/content/Contentment%20June%202018.pdf

Litt, T. (2019). Worthy human: Because you are the problem ... and the solution. Lioncrest Publishing.




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