As a screen acting teacher I love exploring new techniques to aid my class members into becoming better Actors and it was through this passion to help actors; that I stumbled across one of the most beneficial life tools yet!
After presenting my 'breathing technique' class to several classes including children from 7 years to adults, I received significant feedback about how the exercises had such a positive effect on people's lives.
"I knew I needed to start consciously making an effort to use the techniques myself".
I was already blown away by the breathing techniques when I first discovered and developed my "breathing techniques class session", so I decided to start trying the techniques myself during situations were I felt particularly emotional. I wondered if I could use the techniques to change my emotion using the methods I taught in class, in the heat of the moment. Not just to create an emotion, I also wanted to know how quick and effective they were in everyday life.
Being a very busy mummy of two toddlers (aged 2 and 3 years) and running 3 companies, as you can imagine life can be a rollercoaster of emotion and I'm often looking for ways to help me deal with life more effectively. Like most people sometimes my emotions get the better of me and I've found that these exercises and 'understanding my breathing' has really helped me take back control of my emotions.
So what am I talking about?
Without going into too much scientific bumph, a study named “Respiratory Feedback in the Generation of Emotion,” looked at how breathing could affect our emotion, it focused on two groups. Group 1 that created emotions through stimulus, (like memories) breathing patterns were observed and noted. Then Group 2; thinking they were involved a cardio study, were given breathing instructions (from group 1), upon filling in a survey at the end it was clear that the breathing had effected Group 2 emotionally, thus proving our breathing can have a direct impact on our emotional state. This really is in a nutshell if you want to find out more about the experiment just google the experiments name, there's loads on the subject.
Maybe you need a breather!!!
We've all heard the saying take a breath or count to ten, being a person who has dealt with angry emotions all my life, I would often think what a load of rubbish that was and why should I take a deep breath? How could that possibly help the situation?
Knowing these breathing techniques, I now understand it really could help a great deal, this is because it can change the way you feel, which would ultimately help you deal with the situation better. Not having negative emotion controlling you is so important and most of the time how you act is not genuinely how you feel as the emotion makes you think and act in a certain way.
Understanding that when you breath a certain way, it makes you feel a certain emotion is such a powerful tool, for example if you cry (maybe this was more apparent as a child) you can seem short of breath whilst the tears are streaming and its when you take a gulp of air that you start to calm down and the crying begins to stop.
So what emotional breathing patterns do we use?
To elicit joy we “breathe and exhale slowly and deeply in through the nose; your breathing is very regular and your ribcage relaxed.”
Extra tip - Deep, slow breathing into the belly is strong medicine for anxiety, fear and anger. In the midst of strong emotion, the breathing of joy can be utilised to ease emotional pain and stress.
- so breathed slowly and fully
When we cry, we usually gulp air into our upper chest. Did you know it is almost impossible to cry and breathe into our belly at the same time? Belly breathing loosens the grip of that feeling.
Fear, anxious or afraid
Shallow breathing often accompanies fear, however subtly that fear might be felt.
Hopefully this will give you a brief insight into what type of breathing patterns exist in you when you experience particular emotions, you might also want to observe your breathing and note clear breathing patterns you personally have. These are just a guide to get you started, and by understanding these patterns you can start to notice your breathing when negative emotions start in you and look at changing them for the better.
Before using these techniques I found I could switch into a negative emotion in an instance, without warning almost thinking it had just sprung on me, but now I realise my breathing had changed first, I have been able to catch myself and take a few deep breaths which has been super beneficial.
Peace and love to you and yours.
Loving life being a Mummy, a Creative, Entrepreneur and Film Maker. Most recently a part time blogger...