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Why Women Over 40 Are Turning to Breathwork for Emotional Healing: Breathwork Brings Emotional Release Through Tears

Updated: Jun 8

Title Image: Why women over 40 are turning to breathwork. Woman breathing in peacefully in a layered paper style.




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Breathworks Brings Emotional Release Through Tears


Imagine you're Sarah, a 55 year old woman navigating the everyday stresses of life—family responsibilities, personal health issues, and the constant stream of troubling news. You put on a brave face and take on the challenges thrown at you, but when you’re alone you can’t stop thinking of the reality you’ve been dealt. You decide to try a breathwork class after hearing about its benefits from a friend. As you settle into the session, the instructor guides you through deep breathing exercises. Suddenly, tears stream down your face. You feel a profound emotional release, as if years of pent-up stress and unresolved emotions are finally finding an outlet. This experience leaves you curious and inspired to understand why breathwork has such a powerful impact on your emotions.

  

What is Breathwork and How Does It Work?

Breathwork encompasses various techniques that consciously change your breathing pattern to achieve specific results. By engaging in deep, controlled breathing, breathwork activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's rest and digest functions. This activation helps counteract the fight-or-flight response associated with stress, lowering cortisol levels, reducing heart rate, and promoting a sense of calm​ (Scinapse)​.

Breathwork also influences the vagus nerve, a crucial part of the nervous system that connects the brain to the body. Stimulating the vagus nerve through deep breathing helps regulate internal organ functions and supports emotional regulation. This holistic approach not only calms the mind but also promotes overall physiological balance​ (Frontiers)​​​.



Why Breathwork Can Make You Cry

Emotional Release:

  • Stored Emotions: Throughout our lives, we often suppress emotions due to societal norms or personal coping mechanisms. These emotions can become stored in our bodies, leading to physical and emotional tension. Breathwork helps release these pent-up emotions by creating a safe space for them to surface. In Sarah’s case, years of unexpressed stress and anxiety found an outlet through tears.

  • Activation of the Limbic System: Breathwork can stimulate the limbic system, the part of the brain involved in emotional processing. This activation can bring unresolved emotions to the forefront, leading to tears as a form of emotional release​ (HealthDay)​​​.


Personal Stories:

  • In a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, Jessica, 52, shared her experience after her first breathwork session: "I was shocked when I started crying during the session. It felt like a dam broke inside me, releasing years of sadness and frustration. Afterward, I felt lighter, as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders."

  • According to research from the Mayo Clinic, Mark, 47, found that breathwork helped him process grief: "I had been holding onto a lot of pain after my father passed away. Breathwork allowed me to confront those feelings head-on, and the tears I shed felt cleansing, like a necessary step in my healing journey."


A woman peacefully breathing in in layered paper style.

How Breathwork Heals

Emotional Healing:

  • Processing Trauma: Breathwork provides a pathway to process and integrate past traumas. By allowing emotions to surface and be acknowledged, breathwork helps in healing emotional wounds and fostering resilience​ (Mindful)​. Trauma from past experiences, such as loss, abuse, or significant life changes, can deeply affect the nervous system, leading to chronic stress and anxiety. Breathwork aids in addressing these deep-seated issues.

  • Reducing Anxiety and Depression: Regular breathwork practice has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by promoting a state of relaxation and improving emotional regulation​ (HealthDay)​​.

Nervous System Regulation:

  • Parasympathetic Activation: By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, breathwork helps the body to relax and recover from stress. This shift from the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) response to the parasympathetic (rest and digest) response is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. Chronic stress from everyday pressures, financial worries, or health concerns can keep the body in a constant state of high alert, negatively impacting the nervous system. Breathwork helps reset this balance.

  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Breathwork can stimulate the vagus nerve, which plays a key role in regulating the nervous system. This stimulation helps reduce stress, lower heart rate, and promote a sense of calm​ (Frontiers)​. The vagus nerve is integral in managing the body's response to stress and maintaining homeostasis.

Physical Release:

  • Muscle Tension: Emotional stress often manifests as physical tension in the body. Breathwork promotes muscle relaxation, which can release stored tension and emotions, sometimes resulting in crying.

  • Endorphin Release: Engaging in deep breathing can trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, leading to a feeling of relief and, occasionally, tears of joy or release​ (Scinapse)​.


Is It OK to Do Breathwork Every Day?

Yes, it is generally safe to practice breathwork daily. Regular practice can enhance its benefits, helping you maintain a state of calm and emotional balance. However, it’s important to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any underlying health conditions.


A image of flowers surrounding a quote. "The tears that may come during a breathwork session are a natural part of the healing process, signifying the release of stored emotions and stress."

Conclusion

Breathwork is a powerful tool for both emotional and physical healing. The tears that may come during a breathwork session are a natural part of the healing process, signifying the release of stored emotions and stress. By incorporating breathwork into your daily routine, you can experience profound benefits, including reduced stress, improved emotional well-being, and better overall health. So, take a deep breath and embrace the healing power of breathwork.

Whether you're new to breathwork or looking to deepen your practice, understanding why it makes you cry and how it heals can help you fully embrace its transformative potential. Let the experiences of others inspire you to explore the depths of your own breath and discover the emotional freedom that awaits.


References

Ma, X., Yue, Z. Q., Gong, Z. Q., Zhang, H., Duan, N. Y., Shi, Y. T., & Li, Y. F. (2017). The effect of diaphragmatic breathing on attention, negative affect and stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 874. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874


Mayo Clinic. (2023). How mindfulness eases menopause symptoms. Mindful. https://www.mindful.org/how-mindfulness-eases-menopause-symptoms/


Perl, O., Ravia, A., Tzipory, D., Shmuel, R., & Sobel, N. (2019). Enhanced olfactory sensitivity in post-COVID-19 individuals. Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-84894-4



Woman breathing surrounded by flowers with the headline "Breathwork Event, Embrace Tranquility" June 22, 2024. Aptos, CA

Upcoming Breathwork Event

Breathwork brings emotional release through tears. Discover the transformative power of breathwork and its impact on the nervous system. Learn why it triggers crying and how it promotes emotional and physical healing. If you're intrigued by the healing power of breathwork and want to experience it firsthand, La Vie Wellness is hosting a special event at the serene Paradise Gardens in Aptos, CA. This event promises to be a magical afternoon of Sacred Breath & Embodiment with live music and kirtan, guided inspired meditation, movement, and the profound process of Clarity Breathwork.


Event Details:

  • Date and Time: Saturday, June 22 · 1 - 4pm PDT

  • Location: Paradise Gardens, Aptos, CA 95003, United States

What to Expect:

  • Clarity Breathwork: Experience the gentle, nurturing approach to healing and well-being pioneered by Ashanna Solaris & Dana Dharma Devi.

  • Live Music and Kirtan: Enjoy the soulful sounds of Dana's sacred music and kirtan.

  • Guided Meditation and Movement: Engage in Ashanna's Light Body meditations and dance & movement processes.

  • Community Connection: Connect with like-minded individuals and share in the collective experience of transformation and growth.

Practical Information:

  • Tickets: $85 for early bird or $99 at the door (includes tea and snacks afterwards). Sign up early as space is limited!

  • What to Bring: Please bring a blanket and pillow for the breathwork session.

  • Contact: For any questions, please call Yeyen Gunawan at 831.325.8347. The exact location will be released to ticket holders.


Don't miss this opportunity to experience the healing power of breathwork and transform your life. Reserve your spot today and take the first step towards liberating your true potential!




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