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What is the connection between breath and feeling?

Breath and feeling are intimately connected in many ways. The way we breathe can influence how we feel, and our emotions can affect our breathing patterns. For example, when we feel stressed or anxious, our breathing tends to become shallow and rapid, which can lead to physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and muscle tension. Conversely, when we feel calm and relaxed, our breathing tends to be slow and deep, which can help reduce stress and promote feelings of well-being.

In addition, many meditation and mindfulness practices focus on the breath as a way to cultivate greater awareness and control over our emotions. By paying attention to the breath and learning to regulate it, we can learn to manage our emotional responses more effectively.

Breath awareness is key.

Bek Nutter coaching a man through breathing exercises
The way we breathe can influence how we feel, and our emotions can affect our breathing patterns.

Breath awareness is key. Pay attention to HOW you are breathing. The breath is the way the mind can speak to the body in a way that the body can understand and respond.

‘Breathe the way you want to feel’.

If you would like to feel calmer, slow down your breathing, focusing on extending your exhales and breathing through your nose. If you would like to feel more energised and alert; purposely increase your breath rate. Focus on using a longer inhale breath with a shorter exhale to bring the body to attention.

When your breathing is fast, your body perceives stress, which changes your perception of external conditions as the brain looks for perceived dangers; that may or may not be really there. This leaves us feeling anxious, worried, scared or defensive.

The connection between breath and feeling shows just how important our physical bodies actually are to our emotional experience, so much of what we feel actually leads from the body up to the mind, not from the mind down to the body. By practising awareness of our body's emotional state not just our conscious emotions, we'll be able to essentially hack ourselves and take back control, at least to some degree, of our emotional regulation.


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