This week I want to get back to one of my favourite subjects: Mindfulness and breathing.
But before, here are the drawings for the thirty-seventh week of daily sketching:
Most of you know I am a big fan of Thich Nhat Hanh but as we are living through difficult times right now, it is easy to forget how important the breath is.
Automatic breath is a survival skill. However, most of us have acquired unconscious habits that restrict our breathing. Think of it, when we are stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and located in the chest only. We forget that breathing affects all of our bodily systems as well as memory and concentration. As well energy is affected and cannot flow properly if the breath is not deep enough.
Conscious that I lost my way when it comes to breathing and mindfulness, I just purchased a book by Barbara Ann Kipfer titled “Breath perception: a daily guide to stress relief mindfulness and Inner peace”. It promises a lot.
When you are anxious, the body is flooded with adrenaline and noradrenaline. These increase heart rate and blood pressure and generates free radicals in the body. Focused and slow breathing can reverse these damaging effects.
All you need to break your negative train of thought is to stop and take long deliberate breaths, focusing on the inhale and exhale. The book promises alternatives to conventional strategies to address stress issues by improving our quality of breathing and teaching us how to control the state of our breathing.
I have suffered from neck and back pain for many years. Interestingly, the author says that if you are a “chest breather” and fall into the pattern of upper-chest breathing, the neck and upper-body muscles become overused and the diaphragm is underused leaving you fatigued and anxious.
Before starting with the exercises, she recommends learning to take full diaphragmatic breaths which are a full, deep breathing pattern while activating the upper torso.
The book contains 261 exercises—one for every Monday through Friday—for using breath to attain greater well-being. Each meditation is followed by a “wake-up call,” bits of wisdom to inspire and enrich the meditation.
I had never heard of this author before but found out she is prolific and am so happy to have discovered her. This lexicographer has two websites, but the one that caught my eye is: www.thingstobehappyabout.com . Every day, there is a new list of things to be happy about. But the whole site is made up of lists of little things that can make life happier, very uplifting and great for ideas. There is also an art section of colourful artworks. A fun site I enjoyed discovering!
Take care everyone, think about your breathing and stay safe!
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