We often associate colours with feelings: red for anger, sky blue for calm, yellow for joy or happiness. But what if you could change the way we feel by combining colours with our breathing?
Breathing techniques have been used for centuries in Yoga practice, and when we relax in hypnosis our breathing slows down. It has also been proven that through breathing we can control our heart rate. This is very useful especially if you are feeling nervous as it helps you feel that you are in control. But can we go further by using the colours to strengthen the desired effect?
Let’s try it out. Find a comfortable space where you will not be interrupted. It is important to use breathing techniques correctly, so follow the instructions below, using the right breathing technique for the feeling you want to promote:
- Calm when feeling anxious or nervous
Here we have to make sure that the outbreath is longer than the inbreath. This is because when we breathe in, we send oxygen to our heads. If we breathe in quite deeply, we may send too much oxygen to our brains, which in itself can make us feel a bit dizzy, and even more anxious.
Breathing out longer than our inbreath will remove excess oxygen and help us relax.
Now, think of a colour that you associate with feelings of calm. The gentle blue of a lake, or a warm yellow sun, maybe.
As you breath in, imagine that the air you are drawing inside you is that colour.
Then, as you breath out, imagine the wave of air you expel is the colour you associate with feelings of anxiety. This way you expel the negative nervous feelings and welcome calmness in your body.
- Confidence when feeling timid
Become aware of your breathing. There is no need to change it, just being aware of the breath will take you away from focusing too much on negative feelings.
Notice how your breathing may have started to become steadier and slower.
Now, imagine the colour of the air you breathe in is a wonderful, maybe vibrant, colour that means confidence to you. And see the colour of your outbreath as one that you associate with being timid or shy. Allow yourself to let go of that feeling as you breathe out.
- Joy when feeling low
Again, become aware of your breath. Stay with it and notice how easier it might be becoming. Noticing your breathing will begin reconnecting you with all your positive emotions.
Then, start to wonder what colour the air would be to make you feel like you are breathing in joy and bliss. Choose another colour to represent the low feeling; see or feel that the air that you breathe out is that colour.
Push those negative feelings out with each breath and invite and enjoy the feeling of joy in.
Take time to practice
All breathing techniques take practice. It is best to stay with it for a few minutes each time to get into it without feeling like it’s a chore. You can repeat it as many times as you like. Notice how your feelings change to a more positive emotion as you use the energy of colour together with the power of your breath.
I’d love to know how you felt after trying colour breathing. Please do comment below.