November 6, 2012

Experimenting with Different Breathing Styles

Heart Says Breathe by Laurie Maves
Noting dysfunctional breathing patterns and changing them are two frequent goals of cognitive behavioral therapy.  Breathing exercises are one of the behavioral changes clients can make as opposed to the thought patterns that bring on and maintain the anxious breath.

There are a variety of ways to alter one's breathing therapeutically.  In an earlier post, I described what is often called lower abdominal breathing (LAB).  Many people report success lowering anxiety, stress and anger, for example, using LAB.  Click HERE to review my previous post.

Here, I will post a link to an article where Deborah Rozman talks about a different approach called Heart-Focused Breathing.  Different in that the mental focus on one's heart is suggested rather than strictly on the mechanics of the breath.  Shifting one's focus toward gratitude or a scene that has positive associations is also part of Heart-Focused Breathing.  Click HERE to read Rozman's full post.

So often in therapy my message is  this:  Don't give up.  Experiment with different styles of breath work.  Finding the style that assists in calming your body and quieting your mind is what we're after ... not sticking to any particular, recommended type.

Painting, Heart Says Breathe by Laurie Maves and can be viewed HERE

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