Breathe Deep to Relieve Stress

While you’re currently engaged in deciphering the likely liquid-crystal display in front of you, your body (as always) is actively breathing. Your body does this in order to keep you, itself, alive. You breathe in and you breathe out.  What exactly is happening? How do we get energy from the breath?

Every day the average human breathes* anywhere from 12-20 times per minute. There are 525600 minutes (see theater math) in a year and the average human lives somewhere around 62.7 years. So on average that could be anywhere from 395,461,440 to 659,102,400 theater breaths in an entire lifetime. In primitive terms: You breathe an awful lot.

With all of that in-and-ex halation it is easy to take for granted how the system works. When you breathe, oxygen is transferred from outside to inside the body.

“What exactly defines inside and outside?” Is a question that will lead to many a philosophical debate regarding the boundaries of a human. That debate is for another day.

The oxygen is taken through the blood stream to muscles in the body where it is then traded for waste. The waste is deposited in various bodily systems and taken care of from that point on.

Warning: Upcoming Logical Stretch (ULS):
So supposing that you have half of a billion breaths in your life, each time you breathe you have a chance to study and/or refine your breathing. In doing so you just might find out a bit more about yourself.

To return to the Realm of Slightly Less Loose Logic (RSLLL), you really must be careful when examining the way that your involuntary body functions. If you push too hard for knowledge it may end up hurting you.  So take your time and really get a feel for yourself.

Paying attention to your breathing is a proven method in relieving stress. Science and religion alike pay special attention to understanding the way in which we breathe. Breath Prayer is a Christian prayer focus. When you start to drift away from your original intention you actively shift focus back onto the breath (Hmmm… seems like meditation is a fundamental practice).

Science too, believes in the powers of breathing. Breathing to reduce stress is a concept not all that different than Breath Prayer. Stress, in this case, can be viewed as a distraction from your original plan or “prayer.”

When a person is under stress, their breathing pattern changes. Typically, an anxious person takes small, shallow breaths, using their shoulders rather than their diaphragm to move air in and out of their lungs. This style of breathing disrupts the balance of gases in the body.

So in order to train your body out of stress all anybody needs to do is deepen and elongate their breathing. There are many ways to do this seemingly difficult task of breath training. Pranayama, aka yogic breathing, is a good place to start.

…just do what you gotta do…

to be happy.

If you’re interested in learning a whole lot more about yogic techniques A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya is a very thorough book on the topic. It gives in depth explanations of this technique and many others.

 

Sources:

http://www.normalbreathing.com/index-rate.php

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hlw/whathappens.html

http://www.prohealthsys.com/resources/physical/vital_signs_table.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_crystal_display

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Breathing_to_reduce_stress

http://www.soulshepherding.org/2012/07/breath-prayers/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_monitor

http://onsager.bd.psu.edu/halmi/chem3airs05.pdf Experiment that you can try…

http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/pranayama/

Quotes taken from Wondergressive admin: Phil

Other Wondergressive Articles:

Seven Minute Workout Can Get You to Lose Weight

Smelling Calmness (And Other Things)

Power Posing Can Change Your World

Unsweet Dreams

Dalai Lama, “Religion is no longer adequate”

The Almighty Escapism: Creating Distraction

Contention 1: Life is suffering.

Sword makers of old understood that the more they heated the steel, the stronger the blade would become. The mightiest tools have always been forged in the fiercest fires, and, likewise, the trials of man’s life sharpen the tenacious ones into razor-edged forces that shape the annals of civilization. To the initiated, life’s sufferings are turned to purpose, and this is why the greatest achievements in history are often preceded by the greatest defeats, because life, like the aged swordsmith, knows to test the metal it’s forged with before setting it to its Herculean tasks. Whether one defiantly taunts adversity or nestles into safety, life is suffering, and suffering is abound on life’s road to enlightenment.

Contention 2: Enlightenment is the purpose of life; we are all already enlightened.

Among the countless teachers professing to be enlightened, one of the most common yet ironically dualistic claims is that each of us is enlightened already. Christ, Mohamed, Zoroaster, Osho, David Icke and even Scientology’s L Ron Hubbard all pointed out that divine wisdom is our true nature. Yet, simultaneously, they say reaching for enlightenment is our reason for being, the so called great answer to life. Wait what! Become what I already am? Not being enlightened (or rather, aware of the inherent enlightenment ever-present) we struggle to wrap ourselves around how this double-talk isn’t some cosmic catch-22. If reaching for enlightenment is the highest purpose, then survey a thousand pedestrians on what they want more than anything and how many would say “divine understanding?” Not many.

There is a calculated purpose, though, behind why countless methods of realizing our divine nature within a single lifetime have been known to humanity for millennia, such as Kriya Yoga or sun-gazing, yet go widely unheard-of in general. Delusion is mandatory for existence. Yes, the transcending of mind, a necessary step, is often misunderstood to mean forfeiture of critical thought, and this is one of many pitfalls, but the harder pill to swallow and the reason for epidemic ignorance is this: Without deception, without lies, there is no meaning to anything.

Contention 3: There IS a soul; the soul DOES reincarnate.

Imagine the soul this way: energy, the pulsating power rippling through existence, the animating essence behind your beating heart and thinking mind, is inherently incapable of being either created or destroyed, according to the first law of thermodynamics; this power that drives you is absolutely eternal. This notion, for many, is proof positive of the immortal soul and its propensity for reincarnation. For the “seeing is believing” mind of western understanding, there is Dr. Ian Stephenson’s Expansive study into reincarnation back in 1975, lauded by the Journal of the American Medical Association as a “painstaking and unemotional” collection of cases that were “difficult to explain on any assumption other than reincarnation.” This study has been a vital resource in the tipping of the collective scales toward acceptance of this ancient belief structure. European Cases of the Reincarnation Type is the title but the study continues.

Ok, so what are you getting at?

So on the pretenses here that enlightenment is the ultimate purpose of life, reincarnation is an absolute, and this life cycle will continue indefinitely until the soul realizes its oneness with all existence, let’s take this train of presumptions one step further. When Hunter S. Thompson took his life after the end of the 2005 football season, perhaps it was because he understood this great truth: like water and breath, entertainment and distraction are a finite resource. Man’s inability to sit with himself in a quiet room can be seen as the root of all modern man’s problems in a perfect way, because distraction itself serves only one enormous overarching purpose: delaying pain. And pain, further still, is what we feel when we fear what we’ll realize when there is nothing left to worry about. When there is nothing left to consider, you are simply a human “being” (not a human ‘doing’ or a human ‘having’), just being, or, in other words, enlightened. Entertainment, therefore, is our barrier to enlightenment.

Contention 4: Life is but a dream.

Because we are all enlightened by default, all of civilization and its achievements can be seen as a massive distraction from this state of is-ness. When we are enlightened, the cyclical cosmic ride is over and we merge with the almighty oneness of existence, the Godhead. Here is the point. In order to perpetuate existence, collectively we must be distracted from the truth, because the truth is there is no existence (Descartes said, “I think, therefore, I am,” but I only think I am, therefore, I am what I think).  If it seems at times that everything is a lie or too crazy to be true, that is because it is… Everything the senses perceive and interpret is a fabricated dream we are collectively creating to allow the Godhead (us) to experience itself as the illusion of less than everything. That old stoner question of “if God is so powerful, can he make a stone that not even He can lift,” has an answer: You are God, and you have told yourself the stone is too big so you can experience your only limitation, lack of limitation. Without believing the illusion that you are separate from the mountain, moving mountains makes no difference.

So what does any of this have to do with creation?

Creation, in every conceivable form, from writing a novel, doodling a stick-figure, building a desk, or amassing an empire, all expand the Godhead. Here’s how. Your unique experiential wisdom, through what you create, is transformed into a vessel for others to divine new relative wisdom, previously unexperienced.

When we consume escapism and distraction (TV, drugs, games, work, sex, anything at all), it eventually leads to boredom (“I’ve already seen this movie, heard this story, been here, done that a million times”). The boredom, in its beautiful necessity, drives us to create (a new game, new idea, new records and feats), adding to the collection of consumable distraction from is-ness for the hive. Rinse. Repeat. But every creation is meaningful in its own way, as a portal to move another into your same state of consciousness. This is why the greatest art wells up the strongest emotional charge.

Starting in the mid-60’s, Dr. David Hawkins lead a 40 year global kinesiological study on levels of human consciousness, with hundreds of thousands of subject. His findings systematically proved man’s divinity. His map of levels of consciousness (above), on a graded scale, showed how even the most ignorant of racist rants (terrible) holds value, because there is wisdom to be found for an audience of child-rapists (more terrible).

When we create, we activate a higher level of our minds, advancing ourselves. But through advancing ourselves, we contribute to the advancement of humanity as a whole via the ones we affect and the ripple effect. When Roger Bannister became the first in history to run a mile in under 4 minutes, he lifted a veil of possibilities that 36 others, in only the subsequent year, followed him beyond. When you create, the realm of the possible expands.

When you learn you have the power to move mountains, you’ll know you were already the one who put them there.

Sources:

Greatest Achievements of Human History (rationalwiki.org)

50 Famously Successful People Who Failed at First (onlinecollege.org)

Jesus Christ Quotes and Dying Statements (free-spiritual-guidance.com)

10 Prophet Muhammad Quotes: A Taste of Honey (islamicrenaissance.com)

Zoroastrianism (heritageinstitute.com)

Osho on Enlightenment, Osho Enlightenment Quotes (oshoteachings.com)

Remember Who You Are – David Icke (youtube.com)

My Philosophy By L. Ron Hubbard (lronhubbard.org)

thefreedictionary.com

In 1610, God Was a Binary, Fractal, Self-Replicating Algorithm (wondergressive.com)

Europe PubMed Central (europepmc.org)

Living of Light Research (home.iae.nl)

Meditation – Pitfalls on the Path (lifepositive.com)

First Law of Thermodynamics (grc.nasa.gov)

Ian Stevenson (wikipedia.com)

European Cases of the Reincarnation Type (amazon.com)

The Last Words of Hunter S. Thompson (phrases.org.uk)

Veritas Publishing (veritaspub.com)

Gold Eluded Banister, But Track Immortality Did Not (nytimes.com)

Elizabeth Gilbert: The Elusive Creative Genius (youtube.com)