Breathing and the Mental Health
– Sanjeev Bhandari
Food, cloth, shelter and sex are the basic needs, describe by the Abhram Maslow. However, air is the ultimate need. Human nature does not put the easily available things on the list of important, but without air, life is not possible also for the few minutes. May be, if air would have cost some price, people may run after it putting all the things aside. Any way the relation between human and air is uncountable.
Respiration is the important process of human activity. The unique thing about respiration is, it works voluntarily as well as involuntarily. It means, respiration is not only over subconscious control but also can be controlled consciously.
If we look it carefully, we can find the different rate of respiration of different persons. It varies under the normal situation as well. If we look it minutely, no person has a same respiration rate. Then what cause the rate of respiration different – they are certainly a body and/or a mind. Breath is said to be a bridge between mind and body. If the physiology changes so do the respiratory rate and in the same way if the psychology changes, the respiratory rate also gets changed.
For every mental state there is equivalent rate of respiration. For instance, fear and boredom have their own respiratory rate. There is a mathematical accuracy between them. There is no possible chance to get fear and boredom with the same type of respiration. Each mental state comes with a unique type of breathing, with unique length and depth.
Try to identify your breathing during the days. You will certainly find how it works under different condition of mind. Let’s be aware of your breath on every situation wherever and whenever you are. And one day you will sure find the science of breath. Be aware of it, when you get rest, walk or, when you get angry or when you are felling happy. Monitor it at every state of life. Look at it carefully how it goes in, how deep it goes and, in which speed it goes. Feel it wherever inside your body it enters.
After practicing it in the daily basis, we can understand our breath. And the day when we get total knowledge about it, than its now our turn to make the breathing style according to our choice, it’s our turn to control the breath. To control something, firstly, it is necessary to study about it. After gaining the knowledge, we will be the master of it. Now we can make our breath according to the mental state which we prefer. We learn to breath, which can make us happy and positive thinker. We get succeed in every step of life simply by breathing. Now the mind is under the control, because the breath is. There are two ways of controlling the mind, one is controlling it directly and another is controlling it with the help of breath. As working with breath is easy for most of the person, it is recommended to start with the breath.
Just give some time per day, simply to practice it specially. Choose a clean environment with a sufficient air to flow, sit on any easy posture keeping the back and the head straight. Now loosen your belt, cloth or anything else which you feel tight enough to your body. You may close your eyes. Relax each part of your body and now just be aware of your breathing and be aware of your thought. Look at it, do not evaluate your thought and breath, and just let it go. Now start to breathe long and deeply. After doing it for few minutes, breathe normally. Now, again, look at your thought. Try to identify the type of thoughts before and after the practice. Mentally speak some positive affirmation and slowly get out of the practice. Make it a daily routine; choose you comfortable time for this. It does not require a much time. Give a small portion of your life to enter into yourself and you will definitely find some change within you. It helps you to be mentally healthy.
(The writer is a psychology graduate )