© Jorgan Harris. jorganharris.co.za

In breathing, there are two blessings drawing breath,
releasing it again, the one pressurises us, the other refreshes us,
so wonderfully mixed is life

~ Goethe ~

1. Introduction

Spirituality, like hypnosis, has everything to do with breathing. When you learn to breathe deeply, you will become much more in contact with your spirituality. You will be able to breathe as you should, like a baby, as it was meant to be when God blew His breath into humans and into you.

2. Deep breathing

When you take a deep breath, you inhale oxygen and exhale carbon monoxide and other contaminated substance. When your breathing is shallow, you don’t exhale all the negative substances and it may make you feel sleepy/drowsy and bad. It is well known that breathing improves your physical and emotional health. It is also the core of hypnosis. Breathing lets your body work more efficiently. It improves your posture and therefore your self-esteem, reduces stress, increases digestion and boosts your energy levels. It allows you to feel happy/content and healthy.

3. Healing in breathing

You can use your breathing experiencing as pain medicine in areas of your body, whether it is physically or psychologically – you can “breathe into the pain”. Breathe to relieve your pain, physically or emotionally. Breathing relieves resistance, tension and the intensity of pain. Breathing helps to distinguish between physical pain and emotional stress. Imagine you breathe as if you catch breath through your fingertips. You pull the air through your hands, arms, chest and abdomen, deep into your stomach. With every breath that you exhale, you exhale from your stomach down into your pelvis, legs, feet and comfortable from your toes. Breathe with your whole body, like a baby or an animal.

You may find yourself imagining that you are like the sea. Waves, coming in and going out. With every breath you inhale, it’s like an incoming wave and every exhale, the wave breaking on the beach. As you exhale you can imagine how far the next wave will flush on the shore.

Focus on sending your breath after physical parts where you experience discomfort – send your breathing there. Imagine the discomfort, physical or spiritual as a red painful placed in your body. Imagine now that the air you breathe is a bright, well- known healing blue light. Inhale the blue air and breathe out the red air of pain. With every breath, imagine (or see) how that red part gradually change to blue. How it becomes purple, bluer, until it is completely blue – at the same time you increase the oxygen flow throughout your body.

Inhale courage and fearlessness in and exhale fear. Soften your stomach through breathing. When you are afraid, your stomach literally hardens. By breathing, you make that area soft, minimising your stress, anxiety and feelings of inferiority.

When you go back to survival, short and shallow breathing is associated with your body’s response to stress and a feeling of inferiority. It puts your body into a form of panic, associated with rapid shallow breathing, increased heartbeat, cold or sweaty hands and neck spasms. Panic is the direct result of chronic anger, anxiety or guilt when you release cortisol. It resembles in the so-called fight-or-flight-reaction – the reaction to survive. It is this vicious cycle that must be broken.

With deep breathing, you can learn to overcome these clogged life issues. While breathing deeply and experiencing calmness, you send the correct message/ information to your nervous system for an objective analysis.

The tide of the sea comes naturally, in and out. This happens naturally. What goes in must get out. That’s when you breathe deeply when the Spirit of God enters you. When you breathe deeply and relax, you’ll feel the Spirit of God and you experience His power like you are designed to – in His image.

We get so stressed about our supposed security and survival that we hyperventilate as an immediate response to stress. The feeling that we are not good enough; when we get out of touch with the objective world. We focus on threats, enemies, causes of stress and problems outside, while we hyperventilate just to achieve our earthly targets, higher sales and predetermined targets.

If you forget to get in touch with yourself, your breathing shallows, you become unstable, not in touch with your real-life issues.

You only come in contact with yourself by breathing slowly and deeply. Look at happy, content people. They inhale slowly and deep – look at them. Look at a happy baby or your pet – they take deep breaths. They do not need to produce excessive cortisol.

When we have a crisis, or we imagine we’re experiencing a crisis, we are going through different phases – we go into a fight-or-flight-response (coming from your sympathetic nervous system), or we go into the rest or recovery phase (coming from your parasympathetic nervous system). But you can also freeze. When you inhale, it is cooperative with your sympathetic nervous system – that is when you inhale at the time of stress and sometimes keep your breath. Exhaling, cooperative with your parasympathetic nervous system, is where you get a relaxed response. Tense people breathe slowly and deeply from within.

hus, when your breathing is shallow and fast, it leads to hyper sensitivity/hyper alertness, a connection with your Reptile Brain (the part of your brain that is about survival). So, when you breathe slowly and deeply into your abdomen, you experience relaxation – you can move out of this survival instinct. This causes your arteries to become more open so that blood supply can increase to your brain and body. The energy can flow more easily through your entire system

It feels fantastic, even ecstatic! To sing spiritual hymns, is a good example. Frequently, these hymns consist of long notes, literally forcing you to breathe slowly and deeply as you sing along.

The problem comes at a time when you enter the freeze response. You freeze and become stuck in trauma. You become detached from your body, you cannot move and feel apart or outside your body. You are therefore dissociated/detached.

Keep in mind that survival not only means physical survival, but in your subconscious it is also about emotional survival. We are also traumatized by rejection, betrayal and humiliation and to stand apart from the world.

So, when you breathe deeply, you have a relaxed focus, a creative fantasy, lateral thinking, insightful problem solving, a whole- brain function, peak performance, as well as transformative and transcendental experiences.

4. Benefits of deep breathing:

  • Hypocapnia (low oxygen levels) is reversed in the veins. You may first notice your hands are warmer.
  • Breathing becomes easier and anxiety reduces.
  • The taste in your mouth changed to a sweeter taste.
  • Muscle relaxation that comes with it, will give you a feeling of comfort and tranquility in your body.
  • Deep breathing is an anti-inflammatory agent that strengthens your immune system.
  • It stabilises your brain and nervous system. It relieves anxiety, panic, obsessive- compulsive behaviour, irritability and sleeping problems. This means that your breathing is seven times more productive. It stimulates the functioning of your lymph nodes that remove toxins faster from your body and therefore increases your metabolism. This deep breathing relieves stress and the feeling of not being good enough, working against insomnia and increase energy levels.
  • It also helps to eliminate stress. It helps to relax the parasympathetic nervous system. This creates a general feeling of well-being, a sense of physical, mental and spiritual well-being.Your breathing connects the core of your physical well-being to your mental and spiritual abilities. That’s when you experience God’s breath in you that you can have a balanced life.

    5. Finally

    Just to emphasise the importance of deep breathing; the endorphins released by deep breathing is a painkiller that is more effective than morphine. Which better and more powerful way exists to relieve emotional pain than drugs? It has the ability to relieve not only physical but also emotional pain.