Breathing As A Behaviour: Using Breathing Sessions To Change Your Habits

insight podcast

Breathing may seem like a simple concept, but we’ve noticed a lot of abnormalities during our own and other people’s breathing sessions. It’s weird, but it’s also wonderful and we can learn a lot about ourselves and how the breath can be used to express our energy, thoughts and feelings.

By learning to take control, we can shift our energy and perspective and we can begin to breathe as a behaviour.

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Expressing yourself through breathing

I (Shane) look at breathing from a scientific point of view but also from a philosophical point of view. Breath and air has been referred to as life force and energy in many of the ancient spiritual texts.

Essentially, when we take a big breath in and then breathe out, we are inspiring life force. That life force becomes a part of us and intertwines with our thoughts, memories and energy — who we are as people. It is then expressed through our behaviour.

We can start to recognise certain behaviours when we look at how people breathe, like how people exercise control and what that means for them. In other words, our behaviours are our habits. So, if breathing is our behaviour, it can also have an effect on our habits and in turn, our beliefs.

For example, when you stop your breath, are you stopping life? Or are you stopping your life from progressing?

Don’t go with the flow, find your own

One of the key lessons of breathing as a behaviour is that our behaviour can be easily shifted through the breath, by shifting the energy.

There have been times when I (Angie) have experienced anxiety and panic attacks. Usually, it’s when I am fearful of something, even though there isn’t any obvious danger. For instance, going for a job interview or going out on stage would make me fearful, or even meeting a boy for the first time.

I soon realised that my behaviour is also related to a belief that I’m afraid or don’t have confidence in myself to get what I want. So, I started changing my breathing patterns around anxiety and panic attacks and that’s when I found my own flow.

Our shift patterns are a simple way of changing our pattern of breathing, therefore changing our behaviours.

Not only can we learn to shift our energy to change our behaviour, but we can use breathing to change our whole perspective, therefore giving us the tools to start changing our beliefs.

And it doesn’t have to be difficult. When I (Angie) started having these regular breathing sessions and learning how to shift my energy, I could do it in as little as one breath. So if I could feel the anxiety starting to rise, I would shift the energy with one breath, and then I noticed it was like my body forgot to be anxious. But the real question is: can we alter ourselves?

Taking back the control

In times where we experience anxiety or fear in the absence of danger, it’s irrational. It’s easy to overthink what is happening and cause ourselves to become unnecessarily distressed. But in times like these, we need to ask ourselves, what is actually going to happen to me? The short answer is nothing.

According to scientific research, the centre for emotions in the brain, the amygdala, is where all the real hardwired fear responses are. It’s where the universal fears are, like the fear of big sharp teeth, or the fear of black water. Nevertheless, it’s these irrational fears that can be detached through breathing.

You might be getting frozen by a fear that you were unaware you had, but that stops you in your tracks. However, by learning to shift our energy, we can shift our perspective, which in turn shifts our behaviour and our habits. This is the real key.

Put simply, breathing is a behaviour and by changing your breathing, you unlock your behaviour and take back the control.

Forging a new path through breathing sessions

If you can get a hold of your behaviours, what would that mean to you? You may well be thinking, “Well, this is just the way I am.”

We have actually witnessed in ourselves and in other people that as the breathing shifts, it alters your traits.

How many times have you done a Myers-Briggs profile, only to be put in pigeon hole number five and be told you are a specific type of person? At the end of the day, they all fall in to the melting pot of traits.

But what if you had a simple tool that you could use to alter your traits? That is something that I (Shane) think would be very useful in all aspects of your life, like in business for example. How would that serve you if you could let go of negative behaviours before you go into a meeting or are about to make a deal with a client?

A good example too, is that I (Angie) would not be able to do these podcasts if I didn’t get a handle on my own energy around the anxiety of sharing myself with people. Also, we used to be very fiery as a couple. Shane would say something that would set me off and then I’d be angry, and I’d blame him for it.

The blame game is a type of behaviour and when you start to recognise that you’re in that pattern, that’s the first step. We have met many people who have said, “Oh, I know all that.” Yet, they still continue to do it. That’s the difference between knowing and experiencing.

Breathe it in and let it go

Ultimately, that’s the real difference between simply altering a behaviour versus altering a trait. It goes from behaviours up to beliefs, and so on. Further still, can you use the breath to shift your identity?

For me (Angie), it’s gone from being fearful to being excited, and from being fiery and angry, to being fiery and having fun. It’s just about connecting with yourself, learning what you want to shift and using your breath to do so.

“Just hand it over to the breath.” That’s just shifting the energy, so let the breath wash it out.

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