Emotions dictate our everyday life.

The ability to laugh or cry gives an adventure to life experiences. We crave feelings because the experience of emotions makes life matter.

Our emotions help transform our world into a living experience.

But emotions sometimes can be very painful.

Emotional problems are most difficult to deal with especially if they last longer or if they are very traumatic.

Emotions can either uplift our life or they may create challenges.

Emotional intelligence is needed to manage discordant emotions.

It is challenging to be in a human body, we meet a lot of stressful situations in relationships, in the workplace, our health or our finances at any given time.

We feel negative emotions when things get rough, stressed, depressed, sad, angry, disappointed, afraid. And dealing with these emotions are always challenging.

We understand that emotions are a part of our life, but some of them renew us and add quality to our life while other emotions deplete us and rob us of our vitality.

Our body knows this difference.

Scientists say that every time we make an emotional shift from joy to sadness or love to anxiety at least 1400 biochemical changes take place within the body immediately. These chemical changes affect the body for hours. Stress related hormones deplete our energy and affect our health, whereas pleasant renewing emotions produce rejuvenating hormones in the body and increase our resilience.

Emotions play an important role in how we think and behave and also they play a role in our health and longevity. They shape our perception of reality and influence our decision making power in all aspects of life.

There are many ways to relieve oneself of negative emotions. Many people heal themselves by connecting with nature, listening to music, meditation, socializing and so on.

We all have the ability to choose our emotional state and take control by not allowing the mind to go into a negative pattern. It sometimes seems like we don’t have a choice in controlling our emotions but we actually do have a choice.

Balancing emotions gets easy by practice.

I have noticed that breathing is a very unique process in the human body. Unlike other processes like circulation or digestion, the breathing process can be guided by oneself or left unguided to be done automatically by the body.

Practicing with the breath is powerful during times of extreme emotion and chaos. I have found the best breathing practice that calms and balances my emotions is a technique that is now referred to as ‘box breathing’ or ‘square breathing’ or ‘peaceful breathing.’

This breathing technique has 4 parts to it. It can be done at any time and as many times during the day as you want to . It is important that you are sitting with your spine straight for this breathing practice.

Square breathing is a type of breath-work that is beneficial to anyone who is working on reducing stress. It can shift our energy, connect us more deeply with our body, calm our nervous system and reduce stress.

The Breathing practice:

1. To begin the practice, first expel all of the air from your chest. Keep your lungs empty for a five-count hold.

2. Then, perform your inhalation (take an in-breath) through the nose for five counts.

3. Now hold the air in your lungs for a five-count hold. When you hold your breath, do not clamp down and create back pressure. Rather, maintain an expansive, open feeling even though you are not inhaling.

4. When ready, release the hold and exhale smoothly through your nose for five counts.

This is one circuit of the square-breathing practice.

You can repeat this cycle 5 times to get the full effect. Square breathing has a neutral energetic effect, it will make you calm, alert, and balanced.

Evidence through scientific research reveals that intentional deep breathing can actually calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system. It reduces stress and improves your mood. It also helps to treat insomnia if practiced at night before going to bed, it calms the nervous system and allows you to sleep soundly. It is also very efficient in pain management.

Reminders for beginners:

There are a few tips that can help you to practice and make this breathing technique easier.

I would suggest that you close your eyes during the practice in order to concentrate.

Making gyan mudra (common meditation mudra) by touching the forefinger to the thumb is also very helpful to concentrate during this practice.

If you are a beginner after the first 5 rounds come back to normal breathing and be seated for a few minutes before getting up.

Practice doing several times a day and keep noticing the change in your emotional state, notice how wonderfully transformative it is.

Blessings !

Premlatha Rajkumar

© PRajkumar, 2020

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