UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb gives some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life ‘Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.’
And of course the rhythm of our breath correlates with every feeling, emotion and experience.
Try this exercise today and see how you feel after. It’s called the Breath to Joy and was created by Judith Kravitz, founder of Transformational Breath.
Sit or lie down comfortably, then take a moment to get quiet.
Notice how you are feeling in this moment.
Place your hands on your belly, open your mouth wide, relax your jaw, and take a breath in. Breathe through your mouth only, bringing the air all the way down into your belly. Feel those abdominal muscles working, even if you must lean back a little, and consciously push the belly out against your hands while inhaling. Then feel the inhalation rise up into your chest.
At the top of the inhalation, when you feel full to the brim and no more air will fit in, just let it fall back out in a big relaxing, voiceless sigh. Then without pausing, immediately inhale again, exactly as before.
Meanwhile, smile in your mind and think about how grateful your cells are for this sudden attention. Take in self appreciate for what you are doing. Take fifteen more breaths without pausing inbetween inhaling and exhaling.
Now how are you feeling?