Choosing a life of sobriety and recovery will be the best choice you ever make. However, recovery does not come without its challenges. While you can implement practices into your day to help deal with stress and challenges, you never know exactly what is waiting for you around the corner. Challenges affect your moods, your behaviors, and sometimes they seem almost impossible to get around. This is why you seek help through support groups, therapy, or counseling.
Since the pandemic has spread across the globe, you might be having difficulty finding ways to stay motivated and manage your recovery. You might be feeling disconnected from others or that your stress management methods are not as effective. You are probably looking for alternatives for care, which might seem like a costly — if not hopeless — endeavor. Have you ever tried breathwork?
What Is Breathwork?
Breathing is essential for life. While breathing is a simple act, do not underestimate its power. How you breathe can tell you a lot about yourself. Breathing works rhythmically — when it is in rhythm, so is your inner harmony. When it is irregular or arrhythmic, this could be a result of stress or anxiety.
The good news is that you can reset your breathing and regulate your body response to release the tension and negative energy our bodies tend to hold onto. Culturally, breathing exercises have been used for centuries to help connect the mind, body, and soul.
Scientifically, breathing has been shown to help alleviate subconscious stress caused to the nervous system, which in turn helps regulate your heartbeat, support better cardiovascular functioning, create more rational and clear thoughts, and reach a point of meditation that greatly reduces stress.
Breathing is a great way to reset your mind and body. The beauty is that you can do exercises for just minutes to hour-long sessions. You can also do it wherever and whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious.
Achieving True Relaxation
When practicing breathwork, you create a direct path to your nervous system — an access that usually operates in the subconscious. As your breathing becomes deeper and more rhythmic, you will feel your body softening and releasing tension, almost as though it is opening up.
This sensation occurs because you are focusing only on your breathing and no other thoughts. To avoid negative thoughts, you might repeat a mantra in your head to breathe in, breathe out. Attaining this release will help you start to feel connection with your surroundings.
True relaxation is believed by many cultures to be the result of making a connection with your inner soul. From a scientific standpoint, while the term spiritual might not be used, research suggests that the feeling is real because you are lowering stress and alkalizing your blood levels, which lowers C02 levels and raises oxygen levels — all of which helps elevate your mood and release tension.
Addiction and Breathwork
The benefits of breathwork therapy as an alternative to talk therapy have shown to garner faster results. When struggling with addiction, one of your biggest obstacles to get around is your own thoughts — more specifically, your negative thoughts.
Many of these thoughts are like scar tissue that is left over from the past. These scars have caused you to suppress and lose touch with emotions and feelings you forgot you had. When you clear your mind and focus on your body and breathing, you open yourself up to accessing your innermost suppressed thoughts and emotions.
It is said that this stir of emotion helps to bring about a greater sense of safety. In therapy, breathing can help you display empathy and forgiveness for yourself because it gives the clarity to help you see that you are responsible for your choices — and therefore, you are capable of change. When under the guidance of a professional, you might attain this kind of clarity within minutes.
Make Time to Practice Breathing
Breathwork is a great practice because it helps you open up and get in touch with your innermost feelings. It also gives you a sense of control, and therefore promotes the feeling of having a choice. When recovering from addiction, attaining the feeling that you have a choice can be difficult on your own.
While breathing is simple in philosophy — you can do it anytime and anywhere — it is not always easy in practice. It might take some time to find a breathing technique that works for you. You might also consider a breathing therapist to guide you through your first few sessions.
Once you have a handle on breathing, you should make time for it every day. Consistency in breathing exercises has been shown to have lasting benefits for your mental and physical well-being. So, before you abandon all hope, give breathwork a try.
We understand how hard it can be to motivate yourself, manage your emotions, and keep your sobriety in check — especially in times like these. If you are feeling hopeless about what you think will work or won’t work, we are here to help. True Recovery offers 24/7 care and will work tirelessly to find the right care for you. We believe in alternative methods that are supported by both research and results. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.