So here we are, well into 2018 and probably already struggling with any new year’s resolutions we proudly listed, as the clock struck midnight.
However small though, for we humans a change is always tricky, especially since we seem to have a habit of getting hung up on predetermined outcomes or ideas. We limit ourselves with our beliefs: “I can’t possibly start yoga, I’m not flexible enough” or “Meditation is not for me, as my mind's too active”.
Any of these excuses ring true?
It’s time to disrupt our limiting beliefs, if we are to change in any way. And we all know that without change, we can’t progress, move on, learn or improve.
Challenge those thoughts that say - you can't — or shouldn’t — do something because of your own automatic narrative.
How to change Simply and Effectively
- Create teeny tiny habits In his programme Tiny Habits. Social scientist, Dr Fogg recommends we execute three tiny tasks each day for five days. The idea? We learn the process of habit creation; and once we master these, we can tackle the bigger ones.
- Be Brave Our default setting often goes to waiting, postponing, doubting, or researching too much — it’s not useful! Taking action is better than doing nothing and don’t be afraid of the outcomes, as each one is only a stepping stone away, moving you closer to the change you want.
- Believe it will happen. Yes, our thoughts will determine our behaviour; we all know that and also that we can change our thoughts. If only it were that easy! But the reverse is also true, in that our behaviours (and environments) can also create internal states. Jumping into the ocean on a hot day, will trigger a whole new set of emotions and thoughts (or lack of them) as a change from sitting in an office, or taking an early walk will create a very different mindset to sitting on a commuter bus. Often just by changing up the surroundings, we can facilitate change.
Try to include these three simply rules to change and you might just find you might achieve the changes you are aiming for this year. Don't forget to be kind to yourself (you are your best friend), don’t expect miracles immediately and maintain a healthy sense of humour.
Slow, baby steps and determination is what will make it happen.
Did you know that our lungs are enormous? If you laid them out flat they would cover an entire tennis court.
The significance of this vital organ may suggest the importance of mastering the technique of breathing, if we are to ensure optimal health.
Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that we can do both unconsciously and consciously, and for thousands of years, ancient cultures have understood the control of the breath - to increase focus, awareness of self and slow the mind.
Modern western science has also woken up to investigating the benefits of breathing consciously as a way to manage stress, boost mood and energy levels and even manage weight.
Our breath is an indicator of our mood and our mood is an indicator of our breath. This means that if we change how we breathe we can change our mood.
It also means that when our mood changes so does our breath.
There are several ways to consciously breathe, such as the Kapalabhati (breath of fire) and pranayama
yogic breathing. They all share one thing in common, they induce rest in the body, by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
The Alpha State
When we ground ourselves through the breath, we move into a lower vibrational state, close to the alpha state. In this highly focused but calm state, we turn on our creative brain, become more aware of our surroundings and can observe
life from a different perspective.
Doctors Brown and Gerbarg’s Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing Study
in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression found that yogic breathing balances the autonomic nervous system, which influences stress-related disorders.
Breathe to Release Stress and Anxiety
Becoming more aware helps us to differentiate between experiences that induce fear or stress and the physiological changes that arise from them. By noticing our perception and physical reaction to them, we are able to enhance and safeguard our health in a more conscious and responsible manner.
Better Mind, Body and Spirit.
We are each born with billions of brain cells, and when we deprive them of oxygen, our performance will suffer.
For example when we hyperventilate, we expel too much CO2, meaning less oxygen can be absorbed by the body, which leads us into a cycle of breathing even faster.
By practicing balanced breathing we allow oxygen to circulate evenly, to saturate the blood - feeding every cell in the body, muscles, brain, organs, and skin, while allowing the metabolism to burn fat and work more efficiently.