Having a positive mindset is a challenge for many. Mental health disorders are on the rise with depression being one of the leading causes of disability. There are a ton of triggers and reasons for this that are beyond our control, but most importantly, what can you do to overcome a life of darkness and burden?
When looking at the fascia system, it is evident that knowing how to care for this beautiful tissue is key in managing not only physical health, but also your mental/emotional well-being. Years ago, when I first read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”, it became evident to me how significant the breath is. In his book, he shares that when you breathe diaphragmatically, you are living in the moment. When breathing through the muscles of the upper chest, you are caught in thoughts of past and future, where fear lives. This alone speaks volumes, but let’s dive into this a little more deeply.
We are beings that are incredibly adaptable. This serves us in many ways but can also hinder health long-term as we can fall into patterns of behaviour and thought that we get stuck in, and like physical ruts, those mental/emotional ruts are just as damaging. Not only that, they are also a slippery slope, gaining momentum as we cycle through time.
What needs to be understood is the connection between the heart and the brain. If every cell is perfectly aligned in the body, when the heart pumps blood and oxygen, all cells are reached and can communicate with the brain. A body perfectly aligned has a fully functioning diaphragm which inflates all cells and is full of light. It is the space in and around the cells that allow the light to pass through so we can connect with our higher selves. When we do this the heart and mind are on the same page. When you allow your heart to navigate the direction of your life, you are living your best version, connecting to your creativity and life is purposeful.
On the contrary, when the heart and brain are out of sync, your thoughts and emotions become chaotic. It’s the adhesions and scar tissue throughout your fascia that impact the heart/brain connection. They block the heart’s ability to reach all cells in the body and this creates gaps in the communication to the brain. Like the physical body falls into patterns of movement, the mental/emotional body falls into patterns as well. With trauma, this can be seen where people relive the experience even when there is no danger. Their system becomes caught in a loop where they can’t see each moment as unique but are trapped in the moment from the past that created a stressed breathing pattern, and they continue to stay trapped in this mindset.
The vagus nerve is the key. It travels from the brain and reaches all the organs. When activated, it keeps you in the parasympathetic state. This is the place of peace and calm and we should spend 80% of our day in this state. Healing only happens when we are in this state so to get out of the negative cycles, the vagus nerve must be addressed. It passes throughout the diaphragm so when the breath is compromised, it becomes blocked, causing a disruption to its activation. In fact, anywhere along its path it can develop adhesions and be susceptible to infection and damage. To understand how to melt these adhesions and create the space previously lost is a direct way to improve its health.
Many people spend the majority or all day in the sympathetic – fight, flight or freeze state. Here, healing can’t take place and each cycle of life builds momentum, deepening the grooves and making it harder to climb out. Fortunately, when you learn to melt the ridges, new pathways are formed from conscious awareness, and in time, there is an ease and grace that overtakes the struggles and the darkness.
There are obviously many different levels, symptoms and expressions of mental health disorders, and for some, the challenge to overcome will be far greater than for others. However, learning to turn on your body’s innate healing intelligence will only make life brighter and easier to navigate. Darkness is not dark in the presence of light, and awakening the diaphragm is like seeing the sun rise.
Take the first step and give yourself the gift of the conscious breath, then take another step...
Breathe & Believe
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Breathe & Believe,
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