Finding Well-being in
Body and Mind By Settling Your Body-In-Distress
What you want: When your body is in distress. When you are consumed by negative emotions. When you are filled with tension. When your thoughts are chasing after and mirroring your negative emotions… what you want is to experience a sense of well-being in your body and mind once more. One of the ways to settle your body and thus, your tyrannical thinking is diaphragmatic breathing. Although this is not the full story, it’s a great way to start and does have some profound effects.
To make sure you are breathing diaphragmatically, breathe as follows: Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth as if you were sounding a silent “Ha” – as if you are sighing – a nice full slow sigh out. Not forced. Not too short. Not too gentle. Do this 6-8 times. Although we usually breathe in and out with the nose, this way of breathing for this short period of time “forces” diaphragmatic breathing. It means that you don’t need to concern yourself with whether you are doing it correctly – whether you are breathing deeply in the correct way. People who sing or play wind instruments also exhale through the mouth. This suggests that the breathing exercise proposed above is safe.
In a Pilot Study I conducted last year, this is some of the feedback I received with regard to the breathing component of the technique I tested:
“I have found it to be very useful to come to real awareness as to what’s behind some intense emotions. Some are just momentary and don’t hold for long, and the breathing brings relief and perception quickly, But even with the intense grief behind some of the negative emotions, it still brings a sense of perspective into the situation to do the breathing.”
“Dear Leslie, This study created an awareness of the physical aspect as well as the negative thought patterns that swirl around in one’s head almost mindlessly at times. This recognition helped me tremendously because it made me pause before I reacted, and in this pause, …sense prevailed! Thank you for including me in your study.”
A gynaecologist wrote, “Thanks for inviting me to participate. Maybe you will find it interesting that in the past year, as I take patients’ blood pressure reading in pregnancy and it is slightly elevated I always repeat it. I then tell them to breath slowly in and out three times before repeating it. In virtually 90% of the time there will be a significant reduction of systolic and diastolic values with the repeat measurement. This ties up nicely with your study to show that just breathing deeply has an immediate physical measurable effect… not new of course being labeled white coat hypertension in the old days. Regards and warm greetings!”
“Thank you Leslie. I did not get many opportunities to submit [for your survey], but when I used the technique, it really works for me in a very powerful way. I will actually continue using it.”
MA in Research Psychology, Cum Laude (Witwatersrand University, South Africa),
Post-graduate Diplomate, Accredited Analytical Psychologist (Switzerland)
Member: SAPC (South African Psychoanalytic Confederation)
Member: IAAP (International Association for Analytical Psychology
Member: SAAJA South Africa
Leslie Zimmermann is a Jungian Analyst trained in the philosophy and psychology of C.G. Jung in Zürich and is based in Johannesburg. She offers a range of services, which she integrates, to meet the needs and aspirations of people. In a word, her work is in the service of wholeness. Wholeness includes both our vulnerabilities and our strengths, becoming conscious of our own unique mix of these, honoring our own unique way of functioning and with this knowledge and confidence, contributing as only we each can in our own way, to this evolving world we find ourselves to be a part of.
Besides having a Diplomate qualification in Analytical psychology, which qualifies me to write about the theory and practice of dream interpretation, I also have an Honours degree in Applied Psychology and a Masters degree in Research psychology, which qualify me to write about theories of human development, personality, abnormal psychology, social psychology, neuropsychology, sociology and ethics. Also, theories and knowledge pertaining to sleep and dreams from a symbolic perspective including neuropsychological and biological systems.
Leslie specializes in Analytical Psychology, Voice Dialogue, Life Coaching solutions for business executives. Consulting and coaching for family owned and home-based business
For an appointment Leslie Zimmermann can be contacted on:
Mobile: +27 (0)83 384 9812