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We all live in the culture of high stress. We’re intrinsically surrounded and connected to it on a daily basis. This high stress determinants our health, our relationships, our work and our ability to grow as an individual.
There are different perspectives on what sighing is and what it means to us as humans. There are even studies that talk about what sighing does for animals.
Many authors say even occasional sighing means chronic hyperventilation in turn leaving you with reduced oxygen levels in your brain and cells. Frequent or excessive sighing causes devastating effects on the brain, heart and the other vital organs.
So what can we do to make that not happen to us? Let's have a look at the science first.
One study did an experiment where they had participants in a room and their job was to complete an unsolvable puzzle (the participants didn’t know the puzzle was unsolvable). This generated many failed solution attempts, often accompanied by sighs. Many of the participants never recognized that they were ever sighing. This study concluded – “sighs are often unintentional expressions of an activity, plan or desire that has been discarded, creating a pause before it can be replaced by a novel initiative.”
Another study illustrates the resetter hypothesis. It monitored the breath of various subjects looking at volume of each participant’s breath. What the study concluded was “a sigh resets structured respiratory variability, enhancing information processing in the respiratory system”. Basicly, we sigh to breathe in a different pattern so that our breath becomes more efficient.
Knowing all that, I started to be aware of how often I & others were sighing & things started to get interesting. My work as a personal trainer has shown me 99% of people suffer the detriments of not taking full breaths because of postural issues (hunched shoulders). What I found, with myself and the people around me was when myself and others went towards states of blame, grief, frustration, shame, apathy or fatigue we would sigh. Noticing that I was starting to feel this way when I or others would sigh was a fascinating observation.
As I became more aware of my own sighing, and still my girlfriend points out or asks why I just sighed, when I didn’t realize I had actually just sighed. I’ve started to implement a practice into my day where when I do sigh, and when I do recognize that I have, I take a few brief seconds to be grateful for something about the immediate situation. I take a step back and just observe my emotions and thoughts and take myself by whatever means possible into a state of love, peace, and joy. Bringing myself into a state of joy allows me to continue working on the task at hand most effectively or change what I’m doing because I’ve been doing it for too long and then plan to come back to it later.
My point and purpose of this blog is somewhat of a challenge/game/experiment. I want to see what your experiences are with sighing.
Can you even catch yourself sighing?
When you do, what mental/emotional state are you in?
Can you use sighing as a point where you cue yourself to simply experience more joy in the moment?
If you notice yourself feeling you need to take a big sigh, try to consciously slow your breath down. It’s better for your brain & body’s health to take a pause and change your breathing pattern with your own mind vs taking a big sigh. Take some time to pause and live in appreciation of something in that moment & bring yourself into a state of joy.
We all sigh, whether we are aware of it or not. If you could use sighing as a tool to actually make your life better is it not worth being aware of?
Share your experiences with me on social media – I’m curious to see what your perspective are.
Cherish Every Moment and Love Every Experience.
Connect with me further on youtube.