It is only a part of you
The first point that I want to mention is to recognize that our fear is not all encapsulating. What does that mean? That means that there is a part of us that is aware of this fear and is consumed with this fear but also there’s another part to you. This awareness plays a key role in developing intuition. There’s a lot of memory and experience that we have on new situations and information, you know, completely putting ourselves in new places and remembering on all those events and how we succeeded and learned and went through those challenges that brought us here. We are here because of all the previous experiences that were new and unfamiliar. That is a balancing idea to remind yourself of all your resources.
And the second thing is, if you’re having hard time balancing this in your mind, you know, all these resources and all these different experiences that you had – that it’s the old unfavourable situations that honed our gut feeling and brought on the achievements – then there’s likely in an elongated fight or flight state. And for those of you who are not familiar with fight or flight, it’s almost like giving yourself a lobotomy, you’re taking off your prefontal cortex off the grid. This is the example that I’m giving very often, if you’re walking down the road and you recognize a big, dark blob coming towards you very fast and I ask you what is two times three, the mind cannot compute. It is not going to happen right there.
You’re not going to be able to come up with the answer. And it’s because you just don’t need to think but just act in a moment of emergency. You don’t need those creative, expanding ideas at that time. You are solely operating on gut instinct. When we sense danger all the higher faculties get disconnected and we just decide to run away, or fight. And that’s that. That decision is made in a very different place than our conscious mind. So when we are, having a hard time to recognize all these past resources and these positive experiences that we had and balance it with, the unfavourable situation we are looking at then we are in this state and if we are able to slow it down, as they say to five to six breaths a minute, then things change for us.
Every emotion has a specific breathing pattern
What they’ve found is that every feeling has a breathing pattern. How do we lower our breadth to a five breaths a minute? We divide 60 into five and 12 seconds and we breathe in for six seconds in and exhale for six seconds. We also do a whole body breath, this means we do diaphragm breathing. This way the breath reaches all the way down to the, to the bottom of our torso. Of course the actual breath stays in the lungs but the whole act of breathing also includes the muscle movements. This way our body has more access to that oxygen. In order to recognize the power of intuition getting in touch with our numb and painful body parts is also established through breath. What you do to breathe though the diaphragm is put your hands on your sides, just above the hips, and feel yourself breathing into your abdomen. And when you’re breathing, your hands are going to move up with inhale and move down with the exhale.
Your torso is going to move your hands sideways, forward. We want to think of diaphragm breath, you wanna think 360, not just going forward, it’s also going sideways and towards your back as well. So we’re filling the whole tire.
It’s recommended actually that we start with exhaling and empty all the air and some more from your lungs. Then take that six second breadth to diaphragm. And then push it if you want, just to feel that difference. You can also use your hands to guide you by pushing down with exhale for six seconds. And the longer you can expand those exhales the calmer you will get. So this is how you can lower your breaths to five breaths a minute. If you even just do it for one minute, that will make a difference in how you’re feeling.
To those who wonder how breathing will resolve problems
There’s usually a thinking pattern that is attached to that feeling of anxiety of that feeling that we cannot just let go with a breadth Sometimes people even protest to that idea that, just reading is going to make this anxiety go away. “There are very certain things that needs to happen and change.” “There are certain things that we need to get through.” It feels almost as if it’s minimizing and patronizing just, to suggest that breathing will make things go away. “I have real problems!”
Breathing gives us access to that part of us, that trains our intuition to be creative. The resourced brain that we block to ourselves by the fight or flight state if we do not recognize our past successes and change the breathing pattern of anxiety into the breathing pattern of flow, ease and joy. The fight or flight breathing, shuts off your prefrontal cortex and prefontal cortex is the planning you. It helps us make choices. When they were removing people’s prefrontal cortex to remedy some mental illnesses (yes?!) they recognized that these people were having a very hard time making choices or planning.
What we are achieving by breathing in a different pattern than the anxiety, which is 15 breaths plus and minute, is give access to other parts of our brain that has the ability to see options, opportunities and solutions. We introduce a different thinking pattern and access to prefontal cortex that can do planning, and is creative. Do not think of it as just breathing.