Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
The state of our mind is unconsciously linked to our breath. When the mind is calm, the breath slows down. As our thoughts become excited or agitated, breathing speeds up.
This also means that by consciously controlling the breath, we influence our mental state. To do this we can use breathing techniques created by the ancient yogis called pranayama.
Practicing pranayama energizes the body and calms the mind. These exercises can help us disengage from habitual stress reactions to life’s events and respond with increased tranquility and clarity of thought.
The pranayama breathing process has three stages. The inhalation, or puraka, stimulates the body. Retaining or holding the breath, called kumbhaka, raises the body’s temperature and allows it to absorb oxygen. An exhalation, or rechak, cools the body down. However, a basic pranayama technique called Circle Breathing is a series of inhalations and exhalations without breath retention.
Circle Breathing is a valuable symptom management tool for stress or anxiety. The short version takes only about one minute and can be done almost anywhere, anytime.
To be used as needed:
The longer version of Circle Breathing takes 20 minutes:
If you are new to controlled breathing, you may want to slowly work up to the long version’s 20 minutes. Consider starting with three to five minutes of seven-second in and out breaths, followed by one to three minutes of faster breathing, and end with one to two minutes of slower breaths.
Sources: Body Breath Voice; Dale, Cindi; The Subtle Body Practice Manual, Sounds True, 2013.
The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.