Reduce stress in 15 minutes using the Japanese martial arts technique “Mushin Breathing”

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Life ToolsHow would you like to be able to reduce your stress in less than 15 minutes? Mushin Breathing is here to help! Mushin Breathing is an exercise based on the Japanese concept of Mushin. When you experience mushin, you are centered and calm, yet active. At such times your thinking mind and your body are coordinated and act as one. During this exercise, Charlie will guide you verbally to have a “mushin” type experience while specially composed music will enhance and deepen what you are feeling.

Highlights of the Exercise:

  • This tool is one part of the Seishindo Traditional Japanese Stress Management program, which teaches how to managed everyday stress in a more proactive fashion rather than a passive listening exercise.
  • After a brief introduction, the podcast will play the audio portion of the exercise, and then Charlie gives a debrief of why this program is effect and different from other programs. The exercise with the visual presentation can be found at: http://seishindo.org/stress.
  • And beyond playing it for you, we are going to give you an introduction to the exercise first, and then play the full exercise which is about 14 minutes in length.
  • Mushin Breathing is an exercise based on the Japanese concept of Mushin. When you experience mushin, you are centered and calm, yet active. At such times your thinking mind and your body are coordinated and act as one.
  • You do neither too much or too little, as you release all extraneous action and thought. Nothing comes between your thought and your action, and nothing is left over, or undone.
  • During the Mushin Breathing exercise, you will be guided through a process to help you become fully present in the moment by breathing, moving, letting go, and living fully in the here and now. The idea being that…The more often you can let go of your concerns about the past and future, the healthier and more emotionally balanced you will feel.
  • During this exercise, Charlie will be guiding you verbally to have a “mushin” type experience while specially-composed music will enhance and deepen what you are feeling.

Debrief (after listening to Mushin Breathing):

  1. What causes stress in the first place? Usually we experience stress at times when we are not fully confident about what we are needing to do and often this can be because we feel like we might not have enough time to get the job done. And when we lack confidence we tend to limit our breathing and tense our muscles.
  2. What is special about this Mushin Breathing exercise? Mushin Breathing coordinates your thinking mind with your body. When you do so, your overall system works more efficiently and effectively because you are coordinating your whole self. Your movement and breathing work together and you focus on what needs to be done, which leads to your usual internal dialogue to fade away. In a subtle way, it is like the experience you get if you enjoy swimming or jogging. When you exercise you fuel your entire system with lots of oxygen and the movement and the increased oxygen leads you to slow down your thinking mind.
  3. What’s the importance of pausing for a second or two after both the inhale and the exhale? Why not just breath in and out like we normally do? Pausing for a second or two on your inhale and exhale will wind up giving you the sense of having enough time to do what is necessary. Similar to pausing a second before responding to a question. When you pause while staying calm, you give yourself the opportunity to respond from a place of greater confidence.
  4. Any reason for inhaling and exhaling for 6 seconds each time? What is important is to give yourself enough oxygen to fuel your brain so that it can work the most efficiently. Breathing for about six seconds in each direction is what it takes to really make a difference in giving your brain enough oxygen.
  5. Could you tell us a bit about the music? The music is a special part of the program and it has been composed by Henri Roggeman. The music has been aesthetically engineered, and what I mean by that is that the rhythm of the music is set to help people relax, and Henri changes the flow of the music to match what is being talked about. The music is composed to fit “hand in glove” with the spoken words, and thus very different than simply choosing a slow piece of music that runs on its own.

This is just one part of an overall program called Traditional Japanese Stress Management. More information can be found here. The Mushin Breathing exercise can be found at: http://seishindo.org/stress

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