When I first smoked for the first time I was so sure I would die. I wasn’t even aware of how serious it was—until someone in a DEA warehouse told me there was only one method of making it to heaven. “They say you’ll come out as a mouse,” he told me. But that’s not how you die. It’s how you live.
Like most people, I was raised thinking that every second of breathing was a half-second of happiness. When you exhale, you feel a temporary reduction in anxiety. But what if that wasn’t true? What if breathing out is actually amplifying emotions?
If you’re a person who breathes through your nose, you might already know that air brings you within your body, which, in turn, carries out your subconscious thoughts and emotions. But since breathing all through your nasal passages connects your subconscious mind to your body, the results of your conscious breaths aren’t just the slightest bit reflected back to you. In fact, breathing through your nose is a great way to expel your negativity through the help of blood that travels through the chambers of your nose.
Tackling your worries with the power of your nose
When you think of emotions, a lot of thoughts run through your head that can be crippling. Thoughts that could improve your body; thoughts that could make you feel better; thoughts that could help you with a difficult situation; thoughts that could help you achieve your goals. But let’s face it. All those thoughts can make you feel bad. Even worse, deep in your subconscious mind, thoughts like these can become stuck there, and they keep on rebounding in our thoughts. By the time you find yourself staring blankly into space after an argument with a friend and you find yourself working so hard at your job that you’re convinced that a deficiency in your analytical thinking could leave you sitting outside for the rest of your life, your body is so full of negative thoughts that your fear-based physiology is kicking in. That’s when it’s best to pay attention to those deep negative thoughts that lurk in your subconscious mind. But which positive thoughts should you be reaching for and lifting?
Your nose breathes, too!
If you’re one of those people who can’t breathe out, it’s because your subconscious mind is far more dependent on the strength of your breathing than you might realize. But knowing that actually improves your ability to turn to your heart, your chest, and your mind as necessary. If you put your energy into your emotions, you’ll keep going back to your amygdala, which compiles your memory—your unconscious thoughts—into those feelings, which stay with you throughout your unconscious mind and season your experiences. Breathing is on the other side of the equation. It has to do with your subconscious thoughts. Breathing stimulates the blood vessels that can supply oxygen throughout your body. Its function is to spread oxygen throughout the muscles and to oxygenate the heart so that the oxygen will go to the organs to keep your body working. When you exhale, you take the oxygen that’s been in your bloodstream out of your heart and lungs. When you exhale, you’re reliving or revisiting your experience—or if you’re expelling emotional waste, it’s retracing your steps. This is the best time for unconscious thoughts to be formed, so be sure to do it with the help of your lungs.
Many people believe that there’s no good way to quit smoking, so maybe your best use of breathing is not to think about the demons that are invading your subconscious mind, but to use your breathing to push them to the side and elevate your mood. Try to breathe out of your nose in calm, calming breaths, and check in on yourself every few breaths. You’ll be surprised at how it works—and it can change how you feel about yourself, too.
Join the POPSUGAR Collective today.