QUESTION: I want to ask you, Anders, what is your best health benefit from Conscious Breathing?
ANSWER: My improved breathing has mainly contributed to me learning to turn off the turbo and slow down so that I am more present and aware and less stressed. This, in turn, has opened up a window of opportunities to react differently to incoming stimuli. In other words, I am no longer a slave to my learned behaviors from childhood.
- I stay healthier. I am very rarely sick nowadays. More of my resources can then be devoted to learning and development instead of trying to recover. And when I get sick, I have learned to appreciate the fact that my body is telling me to slow down. Being sick, even if it is only a mild cold, is also an opportunity to get a different perspective on life and gain new insights.
- I am kinder to my body. In the past, my body was just a simple tool in the pursuit of the goals my brain had set. Reaching these goals was far more important than the well-being of my body. These days, my body is my best friend, and “we” only do things we think are fun and make us feel good!
- I am less scared and more daring. Fear is an effective way to prevent us from living the lives we desire. By daring to be who I am, I have become the protagonist of my own life. I am no longer afraid of death, accidents, lack of money, giving speeches, embarrassments, failures or whatever others think of me. Breathing has become my faithful friend who is always with me and who I can safely lean on when I need support.
- I feel an increased sense of freedom. Improved breathing habits have helped me find an inner strength. Nowadays, I am rarely guided by needs like cravings for sugar or feel that I must have the latest technological gadget. Nor does the clock, stress, anxiety or anger have any greater influence on my life. It has also become easier to cope with setbacks as I have realized that they help me develop and grow as a human being. There is a huge feeling of freedom to increasingly being able to choose my reaction to incoming stimuli and no longer being a “slave” to old habits and learned behaviors.
- My relationships have improved. It has become easier to familiarize myself with other people’s situations and understand the reasons for their thoughts, opinions and actions. My critical and judgmental inner dialogue has been replaced with acceptance, humility and curiosity. By focusing on my breathing, I can more easily create a bit of distance between my thoughts and emotions and, to an increasing extent, keep calm in difficult situations. The result is that I feel an increased connection with everything living: animals, plants and people.
- I am more in contact with my inner guide. When I hesitate before a decision, I am helped by breathing low, rhythmically and slowly by prolonging my exhalation. This helps me stay calm and focused so that I more easily can get in touch with my inner guidance. Rhythmic breathing helps me switch from intellect and logic to gut feeling and intuition. It has given me strong confidence in my inherent ability to make the right decisions, and I feel I make increasingly wiser decisions in my everyday life, in the small as well as the large perspective.
You can read more about my journey here: Meet Anders Olsson, founder of Conscious Breathing.