When you start your breathing meditation, examine the quality of the air around. Be grateful and thankful that you are capable of breathing.Many people have different respiratory difficulties. Breathing is so much more than just a simple exchange of gasses. It is a link that connects you to your life. Imagine one of the in-breaths did not happen. You are gone!That’s how much we depend on each single breath. Of course we depend on the breath to live, but the quality of our breath also significantly influences your energy level, your health and your overall well-being. In such languages as Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and many others the word spirit derived from the word breath. Proper breathing increases your oxygen level, improves the function of your internal organs, helps you to stay focused, allows you both to calm down and yet remain alert.
So what is this proper breathing? Well, first and foremost, of course, it is mindful breathing or paying attention to your inhalations and exhalations. Pay attention how tense or restricted your breath is. Soften it. Feel in what part of your body you feel your breath the most. Experiment with changing your attention. Put it on the tip of your nose once, and shift it to your abdomen next time you breathe in and out. Watch your abdomen rise and fall. Now with the eyes of your imagination scan your inner body all the way from your chest to your lower abdomen. Separate it into 6 imaginary sections: front chest, back chest; front upper abdomen; front lower abdomen; back lower abdomen. Now start breathing very slowly 4 times into each section. You will soon notice that this breathing technique automatically, without you even noticing it makes your inhales and exhales deeper and longer. This is very important.
Of course you can consciously work on your inhalations and exhalations to make them longer. Yet I believe that using your imaginative skills can be very helpful and may reduce the pressure of “working” on your breath. When you use this technique yo do not make them deeper and longer. The technique itself is doing your work. The technique in this case is a tool. It is like using a screwdriver. If I ask you to pull our this or that screw just using your hands it will take a lot of effort and may even result in failure. But if I give you a tool, you will unscrew it in no time. Same is true about using different breathing techniques to improve the quality of your brain. The techniques are the tools that are supposed to help you make the job easier.
Another breathing technique is that of smelling. Your nose is an organ of both breathing and smelling. When you smell you also breathe. When you breathe you do not necessarily smell. If may be helpful to use the calming aroma for this technique. Needless to say that smells are all around us. And although human nose might not be as sensitive to those smells as the nose of some animals, smells do influence people’s mods, well-being and overall health as well.
You probably heard about aromatherapy. If not, it is a practice of using different smells to help positively influence human health and mood. There is a great number of plants in nature whose aroma is known to have a calming effect on our nervous system. Among those, I believe, lavender is by far on the top of the list. Yet I share an opinion that each and everyone of us may have some favorite calming smell that might be very helpful to use to help oneself to stay calm all the time. You can have this smell around you in a form of some type of parfume or oil. I personally love the smell of lilac. I also like the lilac in nature, its looks, its colors. Lilac fascinates me and brings a lot of childproof memories. So I assume you too can have your favorite smell. It may be the smell of some flower or even favorite food. Find parfumes or candles and incenses with that smell and use them to help yourself feel safer and at home.