The very essence of life can be found in the breath. It is one of the only things that the body can actively do without conscious thought. Breathing is also something that is also both out of our control and within it. When we accomplish control, we can achieve mindfulness better. When it is out of our control, we can feel lost.
For example, try holding your breath for as long as you can. Eventually, your body will give in, and you will be forced to breathe. This is instinctual. It is our natural inclination to stay alive and mentally and physically out of our control.
Now, try slowing your breathing down. Begin to breathe in and breathe out at ten-second intervals. As you continue this exercise, your heart rate will begin to lower, and your mind may even start to relax. This conscious breathing is entirely in your control and can be utilized to acquire a greater sense of mindfulness.
Mindfulness and Recovery
As we have found at Roots Through Recovery, mindfulness can be extremely beneficial to your recovery. That is why we offer the practice of diaphragmatic breathing here at our facility. Gaining mindfulness can also be critical in long-term recovery. At Roots Through Recovery, we are not simply interested in a quick fix. We want to see our clients grow and live long, healthy lives after they leave.
The Importance of Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness is one of the best methods for helping you sit with your thoughts, remain in the present, and find the root of what drives specific thoughts. Breathing exercises during these sessions help relax your central nervous system to help you slow down thoughts and work through those thoughts.
The Buddha says, “Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.” That mindfulness is what can be destroyed by mental health struggles or substance use disorders (SUDs). Because of this, it is crucial to regain some authority over our thoughts.
There is a saying used in many 12-Step programs, “Our mind is a scary place; you should never go in there alone.” That can be why it is so important to receive some guidance when beginning or restarting a program of mindfulness. Roots Through Recovery can help be that guide for you. One of the ways we will guide you is to introduce you to the practice of diaphragmatic breathing.
Incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing Into Your Program of Mindfulness
The first question you may be asking is, “What exactly is diaphragmatic breathing?” According to Frontiers in Psychology, “Diaphragmatic breathing involves contraction of the diaphragm, expansion of the belly, and deepening of inhalation and exhalation, which consequently decreases the respiration frequency and maximizes the amount of blood gases.” Put more simply, diaphragmatic breathing is the conscious practice of deep breathing exercises.
This practice of breathing has been scientifically shown to reduce stress and anxiety. The scientific reason is that it brings in more oxygen to the body. The brain can then utilize this extra oxygen to function better mentally. This practice also strengthens the body physically. It can help to strengthen the diaphragm, the lungs, and the heart.
When diaphragmatic breathing is incorporated into a broader practice of mindfulness, it can help you to control and analyze those thoughts that were once so terrifying. Those thoughts can then be discussed with our professionals and responsibly treated. It is also important to remember that a well-established practice of mindfulness can follow you long after you leave Roots Through Recovery. That life-long recovery is our ultimate goal for you.
How Roots Through Recovery Utilizes Diaphragmatic Breathing
Here at Roots Through Recovery, we aim to establish an individualized plan for all of our clients. That plan is focused on your specific needs and may involve several of our therapeutic options. We feel that one of those critical options is establishing a practice of mindfulness. This practice can help to sustain you through your recovery journey.
We can utilize our professional expertise to teach you the practice of diaphragmatic breathing. Once you have established that practice, it can help you achieve not only mindfulness but can also better open you up to the other therapies we offer. These therapies may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), art therapy, or something more “scientific,” like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR).
The Buddha also says that “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” We here at Roots Through Recovery want to get you back on the path to becoming that person you’ve always deserved. Diaphragmatic breathing toward mindfulness is one of the ways that we can help get you there.
Gaining a practice of mindfulness can be crucial to achieving a healthy and sustainable recovery. One of the ways to accomplish this practice is through diaphragmatic breathing exercises. These exercises can help calm the mind, establish positive thought patterns, and re-frame how you view yourself and the world around you. If struggles with mental health or substance abuse have robbed you of your peace of mind, Roots Through Recovery is here to help you get it back. There are people out there that want to help you get back on the positive path of recovery. All you have to do is take that first step. For more information, contact Roots Through Recovery at (562) 473-0827.