How Breathwork and Affirmations Help Highly Sensitive People Clear Their Mind
Highly sensitive people have the gift of empathy and the ability to feel other people’s emotions as their own. This gift is a blessing for people we care about, but it has a downside for us. HSPs are emotional and energetic sponges. We constantly absorb other people’s feelings and energy and feel them as our own. That’s how we know what others are feeling and who to reach out to with words of encouragement and support. However, when we are not aware of what is ours and what is not, it causes clutter and confusion in our mental and emotional bodies. If left unchecked, it can lead to emotional exhaustion and, at times, loss of identity.
Imagine a kind-hearted hostess who welcomes everyone into her house with lots of love. It’s a very generous gesture, but the truth is that most of the guests will not clean the mess they create. If this continues for a long time without the hostess addressing the issue, not only will her house begin to resemble a junkyard, but she will also lose the ability to distinguish her belongings from those left behind by random strangers.
HSPs deal with a similar situation in terms of thoughts and feelings. We are very welcoming of other people. As a side-effect, our mental space gets cluttered with their junk, and because we are not taught about our tendency to absorb external feelings and how to clean them, we often get confused when we experience certain thoughts and feelings arising in our mind. We know in our gut these aren’t our own and yet they arise within our consciousness. How does one even deal with such a situation? It’s no surprise that it causes confusion, overwhelm, and even loss of identity. As a result, many highly sensitive people feel disconnected from their own true selves.
I’ve experienced this state of dissonance for a very long time and I know how debilitating it is. It made me feel confused, tired, inauthentic, and helpless. I couldn’t understand why I was experiencing emotions that I knew in my gut weren’t mine but I didn’t know how to clear them from my space.
After dealing with this frustration and helplessness for years, I finally understood the problem when I started reading about the traits of empaths and highly sensitive people. I realized I was carrying other people’s feelings, thoughts, and energies that created a sort of filter in my consciousness. When I interacted with the world, or even with myself, I did so through this filter. It made me feel disempowered and inauthentic because my identity resembled entangled spaghetti.
They say, understanding the problem is half the solution. In my case, it was certainly true. It was a relief to understand that the problem wasn’t me; To understand, after decades of being self-critical, that I wasn’t flawed. I was an empath who had taken on other people’s feelings. Now all I had to do was clear that junk. But how?
My healing journey began by reaching out to therapists and healers. I also read about various healing techniques on the Internet. I read about reiki, pranic healing, crystal healing, shamanic healing, breathwork, exercise, yoga, chanting, sound healing, and many more. I was now confused because I didn’t know which of these techniques would help me. Each of them required an investment of time and money. Very often, I’d sign up for a course, learn a technique, and practice it only to find out that it didn’t work for me as well as it did for someone else.
I learned that we are all different and a technique that works wonders for one person may not work for everyone. After many frustrating attempts, I came across two very simple techniques that actually worked for me.
These techniques involve breathwork and affirmations. Read on to understand how to use them for your benefit.
Clear Your Mind and Energy with 20 Continuous Breaths
Yogis and mystics have used breathwork for millennia in their spiritual practice. There are different techniques for working with the breath and, very often, they are used for different goals. What I’m about to show you is a simple technique that involves continuous breathing to clear the clutter from your mind and energy.
Continuous breathing means you breathe in continuous cycles without pausing. This is what continuous breathing looks like in practice. Take an in-breath, fill your lungs to the maximum, and then go all the way to your abdomen until you’ve filled that too. Then immediately start the out-breath and let the air out slowly. Once your lungs are completely empty, take the next in-breath without pausing, and so on. Remember to breathe slowly and steadily. Continuous breathing is not about speed.
If you want, you can pause reading for a moment and try the technique right now. Relax your mind for a few seconds and do twenty cycles of continuous breathing. It will take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your regular breathing speed. In my personal practice, I have found that putting my attention on the entire body (at once) while breathing gives better results.
I prefer to do this exercise twice a day: once in the afternoon and once at night. However, if you only have time to do it once, do it at night before sleeping. It will help flush out all the impressions you’ve gathered from other people and the environment during the day.
Shield Your Energy with Affirmations
Clearing the mind and energy is the first step of the process. Protecting them from unwanted impressions is the second step of this two-step process of clearing and shielding. There are many shielding techniques. I’ll share the one that has worked for me.
Put your attention on your body and the surrounding space. Repeat an affirmation such as, “I am protected” until you feel the energy and your inner confidence shift. You will feel the shift very clearly if you repeat this affirmation for a few minutes. The technique itself is simple and effective. With perseverance and consistency, you will experience its benefits within a few days.
Repeat these affirmations after the breathwork. Once you experience the benefits, you will automatically want to do it every day.
Doing the shielding exercise regularly will not only help you create a layer of protection around yourself, but it will also improve your inner confidence as you move in spaces that are crowded or noisy.
Protect Yourself and Your Gift with Regular Practice
Remember, you have the gift of feeling and healing others. It’s a beautiful gift as long as you don’t get so caught up with others’ problems that you ignore yourself. Your spirit, body, mind, and emotions as sacred. Take good care of them.
Include the breathwork and affirmations in your daily routine to clean and protect your energy so you can work on creating your dream life without the interference of toxic thoughts from your environment.