Sometimes just remembering to breathe can help you improve your mental health. We asked an expert how best to go about it.
Forty-three-year-old Matthew Donnachie is the Founding Director of Inner Balance Life, supporting men and women with their mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Prior to his gear change, he had a successful career as a builder, managing major builds and contracts. He was also battling major stress, anger and depressive episodes. It was his friend who pulled him back from the brink and who introduced him to breath work to try something, when all else had failed. Matthew found Breath4Life who helped him to go deep with his past trauma and we asked him how it works.
“Breath is one of our lifeforces, quite simply without it we wouldn’t survive.
Parenting is one of the toughest jobs out there, and for even the most resilient of us, it can push us to our limits!
We have all been there…a jam-packed day at work, traffic issues and when we walk through the door, we are met by our children who are in wind down from their own busy days, they need us. But our patience wears thin, and we snap.
This where breathwork practices come in.
Breath work is an amazing tool. I personally found it at a time when I was pushed to my limit. I had a stressful job and was struggling to manage my emotions. Imagine a timebomb waiting to go off… that was me. It was only when my mate told me about breathwork I realised that a lot of the emotion I was carrying could be released. After my first session I felt something shift, I was able to manage my short fuse better and over time it became a tool I not only turned to but now share with other guys.
Breath work goes a lot deeper than just using it to survive, it helps us to deal with emotional trauma but also to expand our consciousness and discovery of the Self.
There are many fantastic techniques out there, you’ve probably seen Wim Hoff for example.
But a slow deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth can bring real calm.
We are often not aware of how we are breathing and many of us have gotten used to mouth breathing.
Did you know that we breathe 25,000 times a day(!) and huge benefits can come from just adjusting your breathing?
The best way to breathe, is in through the nose and out through the mouth.
By doing this simple adjustment – of breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, you can improve athletic performance, organ function, and can help with asthma, allergies and so much, much more.
A deep slow breath is great to use if you meditate.
If you are struggling to remain calm, I highly recommend you take just 10minutes out of your day to meditate, concentrating on your breath.
10 mins a day can help your mood, lower anxiety, and depression. It can take a bit of time to feel the benefits, which is why a lot of people dismiss it at first. A lot of people experience ‘monkey mind’ while meditating, so giving the conscious mind the job of coaching your breathing will help.
A great book for references is Breath, by James Nestor.
You can also choose to ‘Consciously breathe’ through emotional situations, from being cut up by another driver whilst in your car, to an argument with a loved one, to grief stress and overwhelming situations.
This approach brought huge change to my life and many others. Being able to deal with your emotions in the moment will massively help to reduce anxiety, stress, depression, and emotional outbursts.
You can do this through breathing deeply through the nose or mouth, making sure your stomach and chest both inflate (you should see them move).
This short process can be used at any time, and will give you huge insights into your emotional state and how to bring yourself round form triggering situations.
Using Breath4Life breathwork will give you the biggest changes.
This technique can help massively reduce stress, anxiety, depression, anger issues, and even physical pathologies such as symptoms relating to auto immune disease. It can help with PTSD, and people on the autistic spectrum have seen huge benefits.
It will help you build huge resilience and deal with a lot of negative emotional baggage that many of us are carrying around.
The flip side of that is that you are more joyful, passionate, which plays out in all aspects of your life. It is no secret that we engage better with family, work colleagues, and society when we are joyful and passionate.
Many people testify that not only their emotional state improves, but their family life, and businesses too.
So many men struggle with mental health and finding effective help. There are many stigmas and a lack of resources, and often talk therapies just don’t cut it.
I, like many of my clients, used to struggle with mental health issues, often related to underlying childhood traumas.
Using Breath4 Life you are able to deal with these traumas and struggles which can be the most transformational experience, simply life changing.
You will not only feel more connected to yourself, but it will also improve your connection with your family. Conscious and subconscious connected breathing should only be undertaken with a qualified practitioner.”