Breathink Introduction

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Introduction to Breathing-Affirmation Skills Practice

Audio: Introduction to Breathing-Affirmation Skills Practice

The aim of this skills practice is to help you to let go of the negative thoughts and feelings that are dragging you down, and to feel happy and positive about yourself and your life.

To do this it utilises and brings together three different things, each of which, on its own, has an effect upon our physical, mental or emotional state:

Firstly, it uses the power of our breath, which directly affects our nervous system, and can be used to change the state of our nervous system.

Secondly, it uses the power of affirmation which can be used to change our thoughts and beliefs in a way that can transform our attitude and outlook towards life.

And thirdly, it uses the power of music which can positively affect our emotional state – for example, helping us to calm down if we’re feeling anxious or helping us to feel a bit better if we’re feeling sad.

Essentially what this skills practice consists of is a simple tune, with lyrics, that goes up in pitch over 4 notes, marking the period of time over which you should be breathing in, and then goes down in pitch over 6 notes marking the period of time over which you should be breathing out.

“I’m becoming calm, relaxed and happy”

So “I’m becoming” – marking the period of time over which you should be breathing in, and

“Calm relaxed and happy” – marking the period of time over which you should be breathing out.

So I’ll play it again, and this time you can practise breathing in over those first 4 notes and then breathing out over the subsequent 6 notes.

“I’m becoming calm, relaxed and happy”

So that’s essentially all that this skills practise consists of, but because people have different rates at which they breathe we’ve created a few different speeds and you can choose the one that works best for you, or, if none of them is quite right, just do it at the speed that is right for you whilst singing the words in your head.

And if you’re feeling creative you can even think of new lyrics to use with the tune.

What you should try to keep constant is the ratio of 2:3 or 4:6 between the in-breath and the out-breath.

And that’s because for the purposes of relaxing and letting go of stress it ‘s beneficial to make the exhalation longer than the inhalation. This is because the inhalation activates the sympathetic nervous system – linked to the fight or flight response, whereas exhalation activates the parasympathetic nervous system – linked to relaxation. By making your exhalation longer than your inhalation you’ll be activating your parasympathetic nervous system that helps you to relax. You’ll find a longer explanation of the scientific, physiological basis for this skills practice in the optional audio recording below [on the next page].

You can do this skills practice for as long as you want – 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes or even 10 minutes, but it’s good to try to do it for at least 1 minute each time you do it. And you can do it in the morning, in the evening, before going to bed at night, or whenever you want. The important thing is to do it regularly in order to really get the most out of it and start to experience its beneficial effects in your life.

Note: The next page contains a recording that you can listen to. The page after that has a more detailed explanation of the scientific basis of this skills practice that you can listen to or read if you wish.