Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Breathe Deeply

Pay Attention to Your Body and Breathe Deeply

Before attending the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program modeled after the one developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, I did not pay attention to my body’s cues preceding a hypomanic episode. In fact, it was usually another person who would point out the embarrassing truth — like the time my editor wrote a letter to my doctor after I started publishing eight blogs a day thinking my traffic would go up. Now, though, when my heart races and I feel as though I have consumed eight cups of coffee, I know this is my opportunity to reverse my symptoms by doing lots of deep breathing exercises.

Of all the automatic functions of the body — cardiovascular, digestive, hormonal, glandular, immune — only the breath can be easily controlled voluntarily, explain Richard P. Brown, MD, and Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, in their book The Healing Power of the Breath. They write:

By voluntarily changing the rate, depth, and pattern of breathing, we can change the messages being sent from the body’s respiratory system to the brain. In this way, breathing techniques provide a portal to the autonomic communication network through which we can, by changing our breathing patterns, send specific messages to the brain using the language of the body, a language the brain understands and to which it responds. Messages from the respiratory system have rapid, powerful effects on major brain centers involved in thought, emotion, and behavior.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/ways-curb-mania-and-hypomania/

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