One simple technique to quickly improve your mental health

Nov 04, 2022

Believe it or not, I am by nature a lazy person and I will try every hack and trick to help me save time and energy, whether it comes to work, recreation, or even my mental health. Which is why I am always researching techniques geared towards peak mental health which are easy, cost-effective and quick. It pains me to see some people attending therapy for years on end and coming out no better than they went in. That is, to me, a real disservice to someone who is motivated to get better, but has not been given the right tools to do so. And of course there are so many more who, although functioning relatively well, still find it hard to find joy or meaning in life.

There are a lot of cost-effective, targeted and relatively quick techniques to improve your mental health no matter where you are in the spectrum of mental illness, which I have discussed in detail in my book, ‘The Quantum Psychiatrist’. One such technique, which is essentially free, is Pranayama, an ancient Indian series of breathing techniques designed to vitalise body and mind. ‘Prana’ is the term for vital energy, but it is also used to describe breath. The breath is considered the primary way that the body connects with the mind and regulates the autonomic nervous system. The practice of breathwork is thus called Pranayama.

These pranayamas have been modified and adapted in a variety of ways to make them more popular. For example, you might have heard of ‘The Iceman’, Wim Hof, whose breath technique allows him to survive freezing temperatures. Dr. Stanislav Grof, a reputed psychiatrist and pioneer in LSD research, designed ‘Holotropic Breathing’, a technique to access higher states of consciousness without drugs. There are many more breath techniques based on pranayama.

Can breathing really elevate your consciousness? I experimented on myself using my Bio-Well GDV (Gas Discharge Visualisation) camera, which captures an individual’s biofield and analyses the energy strength and balance in the system. I took images of my fingertips using my Bio-Well device before and after a 30 minute pranayama session. Have a look at the images above. The results speak for themselves. Being a trained energy practitioner, the difference between the before and after images might not be large, but it was enough to take me to peak mental states. 15 minutes into the session, I started feeling extremely energised and ready to take on the world. 20 minutes in, and I felt joy bubbling up from every crevice in my body. It was a profound sense of being grounded and connected to all!

Here are a few pranayama techniques which, with regular practice, can do wonders for your physical and mental health:

  1. 1. Alternate nostril breathing:

This is a gentle technique to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and can be great to start the day or incorporate into your regular work day.

  1. Bhastrika or Bellows breathing:

This is an intense breathing practice with forced inspiration and expiration which increases oxygenation of the brain and body and increases a sense of well-being and energy elevsl.

  1. Kapalbhati (Shining scalp) breathing:

This consists of normal inspiration and forced expiration and helps clear stagnant energy. As a bonus, it is excellent for toning the abdominal muscles as well. No more crunches for that enviable six-pack abs!

  1. Ujjayee or Ocean breathing:

This consists of inspiration and expiration against a closed epiglottis and increases oxygenation in the body.

Pranayama should only be learnt through trained yoga instructors, either in person or through instructional videos. It is important to gradually build up the time of your practice rather than starting with intense practices. However, with the right structure and perseverance, this can help you progress immensely in your physical, emotional and mental health. If you have tried pranayama, share your experience!


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