So, you all know the scenario, something hurts like hell or you are anxious, worried, uptight, trying to maintain a smile when in fact you’d rather be gurning with what ever strong emotion was bubbling away under the surface…. We’ve all been there, many of you as you are reading this now will be doing it. So, what is it?….
HOLDING YOUR BREATH!
STOOOOOOP! Step back from what ever you are doing (except reading this!) and become aware of your breathing.
So, what’s happening?
You may be breath holding, taking erratic very shallow breathes, have shoulder or belly tension so tight you could be mistaken for having done several rounds in the ring. You may even feel you have a very tight vice around your chest not allowing you to expand and get a really super deep breath.
What ever you feel, notice it without judgement and just tune in to the “normal for you” pattern you have trained yourself to do.
Awareness is everything
Awareness of your breathing is something I have spent lots of time helping my clients do lately. I’ve even had to do some work on it myself. Like many things, until you start breathing better, you are so unaware of how restricted your chest actually is.
Breathing impacts the rest of the body
For me, if anything remotely emotionally challenging occurs my chest tightens, I’d like to think I”m not alone with this! I’ve become aware of how I have this very strong “anchor” type feeling in the centre of my chest that, when ever there are tough situations I grip on to. This anchor pulls the front of my chest down and had been doing it for years, whilst I was not so blissfully aware of it, forcing my neck into a more forward, pokey chin position. I did absolutely everything I could to improve my posture and it was so darn effortful and didn’t work! I’m also sure this positioning of my ribcage and lack of normal movement in this region was what caused the disc issue in my neck. That’s another story!
Thorax, we love you and the Thoracic Ring Approach™
Working on my breathing, working on my thorax and how it moves and dissociates from the rest of my body has been remarkable. It has allowed my pelvic floor and tummy muscles to start functioning again properly after the birth of my daughter. It has allowed me more freedom in my body than I have felt since I was at school! Yes, that long! It has released the tension I felt in my shoulders on a daily basis. It has also made a massive impact on my emotional wellbeing and lightness and better thinking in my head. Steady, I’ll be dangerous soon!
Is there another factor to this too?
Letting go of that heavy weight in the centre of my chest, many could say was a physical thing in how I held my posture and over worked certain muscles in my tummy and shoulders due to my compensations. There is another angle to this though. We know how strongly the body and mind are connected. We know that working on one can help the other. I know that when I worry about stuff it affects my breath and the weight comes back. Perhaps me releasing some emotional stuff that has been around for a while has also played it’s part?!?
You know my feelings on the body. We don’t know it all yet. We also don’t know everything there is to know about that awesomely powerful thing sitting in your skull either. So, with that thought, I shall leave you to go away and start being aware of your breathing and what’s going on in your body and mind.
Awareness is the start of everything. Without it, it’s pretty darn hard to make any changes in our body and life. So start recognising what is going on and see what you find.
Don’t be like all those others!
If there is something that doesn’t feel good, please do something about it. I’m always happy to have a chat about any of this stuff so if you want to get in touch, please do. Please don’t be like most people we see on a daily basis who wished they’d done something sooner.
What is the impact going to be of you not doing anything? What will it cost you physically and emotionally not to do something about it?
Have a great week. Look forward to seeing you soon.
Vic and the Team