In a recent interview, psychologist Dr Greg Smith explained that he had always had an interest in breathing. During his study of yoga, he saw there was a strong emphasis on the breath. While working with patients, he realised that often people who were anxious tended not to breathe out and people, when depressed, tended not to breathe in. After many years of counselling a wide variety of people, he has refined skills which are easily learned and used by patients. Purposeful Breathing explains his theories on the mind-body link that is developed with breathing.
Dr Smith has published this book as a manual which outlines simple practices which can be helpful in a range of circumstances. Part 1 gives background information for breathing awareness and problem breathing, before moving on to the key principles of purposeful breathing, and styles. Breathing for specific purposes covers many areas of interest; stress, anxiety, energy, health, happiness and creativity are some of those. “Once you step out of the thought loops and have moments of mental quietness and calm, you can refocus,” says Smith
There is an excellent chapter on values. Many of us strive to have a life with our sense of values being practised, but the author quotes Psychologists Seligman and Peterson who have presented a list of basic values which is fascinating to look at and reflect upon. It is felt that, if we have a clear set of values in our lives, everyday situations and decision making becomes easier. Reflecting on and identifying our own values, gives us a solid foundation for this.
Part 4 of the book deals with Meditation, Mindfulness and Eastern Traditions, with exercises offered for breathing in Mindfulness for meditation and relaxation. There is a superb exercise for a spinal flexing breath, for those seated at a desk for a long period. This book is a treasure for everyone seeking a little calm in their lives. Just reading through the thoughts and exercises brings a moment of peace.
|Author||Dr Greg Smith|