One breath creates change.
We do it so much that we ignore it. “It” in this instance is breathe. And yet, research in neuroscience and anecdotal reports over the ages indicate that attention to the breath can be a powerful force for change in the lives of human beings.
Recent research by Pierre Phillipot demonstrates that our breathing patterns can create our emotions. By manipulating our breath we can change how we feel. If we create an intention to pay attention to our breath we enter into a practice that is going to create sustainable change in our lives.
Different traditions have developed specific breathing practices. There are so many approaches that anyone can find a practice style that will work for them. The key is to begin to pay attention, to notice, to carefully become aware of what we so easily take for granted.
Take cues from your environment to help you pay attention. Set reminders on your computer or phone, schedule attentiveness to your breath, until it becomes a habit.
The first action is to learn to pay attention to what we usually ignore. Breathe. Later we will discuss how to breathe, where to breathe from, when to focus on breathing patterns. But for today, just tune in to your breath.