What would you like?
Humans (and most probably animals too) have most probably sought peace, calm and connection (mutual support) over the ages. Do you enjoy feeling peaceful, trusting and connecting to people m0re than you enjoy feeling angry scared or wanting to run away ?
Over the ages humans have empirically found many different ways to experience more peace calm and trust and connection (Serenity) in their lives, e.g. meditation, yoga, qigong, exercise etc.
How much discomfort are you experiencing due to feeling stressed out?
Feeling stressed out is extremely uncomfortable and can cause a lot of damage to your body, relationship etc. Wikipedia discusses what psychological stress can do to a person.
Are you getting enough sleep?
Stress seems to cause sleeplessness, just lying there ruminating about your problems. Are you doing that? Maybe taking sleeping pills? (This is not a good idea in the long run)
How depressed are you?
Losing interest in life? Little enjoyment?
How anxious are you?
Feeling worried all the time?
But why are you being asked all these questions?
Because it is only if you are aware of how much pain and suffering you are experiencing that you might be willing do something about it and star a slow deep breathing practice.
Might slow deep breathing be a way to develop more serenity in your life?
http://slow.peaceeaseuse.com webpage lists a number of articles in the scientific literature which discuss how slow/paced deep breathing (aka respiratory sinus arrhythmia) can create calm peace, trust and connectedness.
In their book The Healing Power of the Breath, ($15.99) Dr’s Brown and Gerbarg discuss the scientific methodology behind their method of breathing (Coherent Breathing). Might doing the breathing they recommend might help you achieve the experience of more peace and less fear in your life.
David O’Hare M.D. recommends a similar approach in his Kindle book Heart Coherence 365 ($4.99) where he recommends breathing three times a day at six breaths a minute for five minutes. (365).
Christopher Bergland, In Psychology Today, discusses in depth how Slower Breathing Facilitates Eudaimonia via Your Vagus Nerve and says “Aristotelian ethics defines eudaimonia as “the condition of human flourishing or living well.” which is what I am currently experiencing. You, dear reader, can experience it too if are willing to take up the practice he recommends .He concludes his article with “Taken together, this accumulating bodylof evidence suggests that slow-paced breathing is a cost-free and readily available way to facilitate eudaimonia by lowering blood pressure, improving psychophysiological well-being, and increasing happiness.”
If you are a 12-step aficionado then doing this practice will fill the requirements of the eleventh step , especially if you pray while mindfully breathing in and out slowly and deeply. It works, it really does.
The biggest cost is the time spent practicing the deep slow breathing techniques.
Coherent Breathing is breathing slowly (say 6 breaths a minute) for at least five to twenty minutes a day (Brown and Gerbarg pp 18).
O’Hare recommends spending at least five minutes three times a day taking slow deep breaths.
But there is an even bigger startup cost. Generally people have to wait a month after starting before begin to experience the calming effect of the deep slow breathing (sigh).
Why might you want to believe that this might work for you too?
Yes, this method sounds hooky, doesn’t it.
What will it take for you to believe that it might work for you too and for you to develop the willingness to do slow deep breathing for say a month before you experience its effects?
Have you checked out the scientific articles mentioned in http://slow.peaceeaseuse.com ?
Have you tried reading the books by the Dr’s Brown and Gerbarg ($15.99) book or O’Hare‘ s Kindle book ($4.99) yet? These books don’t cost very much do they? Compare the cost to the benefit you will get from living with less stress in your life.
The HeartMath Institute and HeartMath have jointly developed methods which they say are “Proven to help you reduce stress and anxiety by increasing your inner balance and self-security.”
Dr Rollin McCraty discusses one of HeartMats’s approaches in “Science of the Heart” and states, amongst other things…..
“Because breathing patterns modulate the heart’s rhythm, it is possible to generate a coherent heart rhythm simply by breathing slowly and regularly at a 10-second rhythm (5 seconds on the in-breath and 5 seconds on the out-breath). Breathing rhythmically in this fashion can thus be a useful intervention to initiate a shift out of stressful emotional state “. All the equipment they sell includes a “breath pacer”, a device which can be used to help the user do slow deep breathing.
Would scientific evidence help you believe that slow deep breathing might work for you too?
Ravinder et al; (2017) discuss “Self-regulation of breathing as a primary treatment for anxiety” and end up stating “We propose that these breathing techniques could be used as first-line and supplemental treatments for stress, anxiety, depression, and some emotional disorders.”
Of course Brown and Gerbarg have published a paper on “Sudarshan Kriya yogic breathing in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression: part I-neurophysiologic model” and stated that ” Sudarshan Kriya yoga (SKY), a sequence of specific breathing techniques (ujjayi, bhastrika, and Sudarshan Kriya) (SK&P)can alleviate anxiety, depression, everyday stress, post-traumatic stress, and stress-related medical illnesses.” .
And Kjellgren et al (2007) report that a 6 week long pilot study involving 103 adults using Sudarshan Kriya and related practices(SK&P). They report that “The data suggest that participants in the SK&P group, but not the control group, lowered their degree of anxiety, depression and stress, and also increased their degree of optimism (ANOVA; p < 0.001). The participants in the yoga group experienced the practices as a positive event that induced beneficial effects.”
Want to start now?
If you download O’Hare’s Kindle book Heart Coherence 365.($4.99) now you can start practicing deep slow breathing tonight.
Or would you prefer to wait a while and watch your stress level build up some more until it gets sufficiently painful for you to want to do something about it?
Or just follow the instructions on your screen to do some slow deep breathing with Box Breathing
Want some tools to support you doing slow deep breathing?
The best tool I have found so far is RESPeRATE which is approved by the FDA to reduce high blood pressure. It measures my breathing with a chest strap. Then it transforms the breathing into guiding tones that slow my breathing and prolong the exhalation. It has helped me to lower my breath rate to 4.7 breaths per minute with a very prolonged exhalation. It encourages me to do slow deep breathing which activates my PSNS so I experience more peace, calm, acceptance in my life. I use for at least thirty minutes daily.
Read this article. Yes its a sales pitch for Resperate that I think is very helpful .
Here is annother article I really enjoyed about slow deep breathing.
There are a lot of other methods around and some can be found here.
This page may be reached at http://serenity.peaceeaseuse.com
This site offers educational information and is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult your physician before taking any action on the ideas expressed in this page to ensure your safety and wellbeing.
All material offered on this page is copyrighted Compassionate Coaching,2021 and may not be used without written permission.