Breathe Right To Control Negative Emotions and Bring Inner Peace
Why Emotions Matter
Emotions are the source of energy. When we are feeling good, we perform better at work and experience joy in relationships.
But when we feel negative emotions such as anxiety or fear, it’s hard to focus on the matter at hand. When you’re emotionally volatile and unable to control your own emotions, you cannot trust yourself to follow through on your own plans.
Without emotional control, it’s hard to act on your goals and be consistent. Therefore, it’s really important that we learn how to control our emotions instead of letting them control us.
The Link Between Breath and Emotions
Neuroscientists have come up with an interesting finding on how our breath is connected to our emotions. Every emotion has a corresponding breathing pattern. For example, when we feel joy, we breathe slowly and fully into our lungs. When we feel fear and anxiety, our breath becomes shallow and quick.
But here’s the best part. Just as feeling certain emotions can elicit a certain breathing pattern, breathing a certain way can also elicit the desired emotions. So if you feel deeply and fully for a few minutes, you’ll feel happier and emotionally stable.
This is an exceptional discovery! We can change how we feel simply by breathing a certain way. So if you have to go into an interview, just breathe deeply for a few minutes and you’ll feel relaxed during the interview.
Breathing is so powerful that army veterans who felt dead after coming back from Iraq felt alive again after participating in a week long workshop.
How Does it Work?
When we breathe deeply and fully, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system in our brain. The parasympathetic nervous system helps our body relax and rest. So when you’re breathing deeply, your brain knows that it’s time to rest and the fight or flight response we experience during anxiety no longer continues.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Feel Calm in A Few Minutes
So how to take advantage of this magic finding to control negative emotions? Well, you can do it anytime, anywhere. The only thing you need is your breath. Although you can simply do deep breathing, but there’s a better technique you can try.
The technique is Alternate Nostril Breathing. Here’s exactly how it’s done:
- Sit with your back straight with a gentle smile on your face. Make yourself comfortable.
- Put your left hand gently on your left knee.
- Now take the right hand, curl the little and ring finger into the palm. Now you’ll use the thumb to close the right nostril and breathe through the left. And you’ll use the index and middle fingers together to close the left nostril and breathe through the right.
- Use your thumb to close the right nostril and breathe through the left. Take a deep breath.
- After the inhale, close your left nostril with your index and middle fingers together, and hold the breath or a moment.
- Now keeping the fingers on the left nostril, release the thumb on the right nostril and exhale. After exhale, pause for a moment.
- Now in the same position, inhale through the right nostril.
- Now close both nostrils at the top of the inhale and hold for a moment.
- Release the index and middle fingers on your left nostril and exhale slowly. Pause for a moment after the exhale.
- Repeat steps 4 to 9 while concentrating your mind on the breath.
Why is it so effective?
When we are feeling negative emotions, it is hard to talk yourself out of feeling them. Because your emotions are negative, your thoughts are negative too. In this vicious cycle, the breath functions as an anchor and dissolves all intense emotions such as anxiety and fear.