Pearl Jam → Just Breath, made an appearance the other day, as my dear friend Christine & I were driving home from a Phillies game. Let me tell you. We cranked that bitch up, rolled down the windows, & sang like we were 17 on the first day of summer vacation. It was epic fun. It hit me right then I needed to write the May blog on this topic. Breathing.
The root of it all. How we are able to live, grow, exist, the air we breath. It’s so automatic we forget about it. Adopting or using breathing techniques is a simple practice, that is profoundly effective in helping us to be present in this moment, slow our heart rate, blood pressure, & live positively peaceful.
Before we get into it, let’s real quick, do an exercise to remind you what it feels like to be conscious of your breathing.
Let’s DO DIS:
HOW DO YOU FEEL? Do you feel different than before? Are you more relaxed? Focused? Energized?
Now that we’re in the right frame of mind, let’s dig in.
I use breathing techniques in my own life daily to combat anxiety, stress, worry, & to unify my mind & body.
On average, a person at rest takes about 16 breaths per minute. This means we breathe about 960 breaths an hour (Say whaaaaat!), 23,040 breaths a day, 8,409,600 a year. And unless we get a lot of exercise & practice breathing deeply & deliberately we are depriving ourselves of what we need.
In our modern world of convenience we have a lot coming at us at all times. The overwhelming sensory stimuli that we see, hear, & feel is part of the equation. The other part of the equation is the always connected, always multitasking, always moving expectation most of us have of ourselves (we can dive into that in another post, lol).
Often when we become overloaded, stressed out, & put under pressure, we don’t realize it, but we literally begin to hold our breath. At least I do.
Have you ever had that happen where you’re stressed AF, heart racing, not able to concentrate, & all of the sudden you realize it’s because you are not really breathing?
UUUUHHHHMMMM… MY HAND IS UP. If only I could see all the hands raise!
When I find myself in a breathless frenzy, this is my first indication that I need to stop & engage myself in conscious breathing exercises.
This is one of my favorite tricks, for when you’re in PANIC MODE & it works like a charm!!
Here’s What To Do:
Your breathing will connect you with the what you are observing & will break the hold of the strong neurotransmitters that have mistakenly triggered a false PANIC alarm.
In a world of fast paced multi-tasking we’ve become so accustomed to living in a somewhat perpetual state of hyper-vigilance that precariously teeters on the line of PANIC. ALL THE TIME.
We’ve become desensitized & no longer notice the discomfort, we’ve resigned ourselves to feeling anxious anticipation, agitation, feeling like we’re never going fast enough. So many of us are walking around stressed, lacking energy, depleted.
Ya need a mindset reset for that, you do not have to accept feeling yucky as a standard. The mindset reset is real simple. Once we notice that we’ve been holding tension, anxiety, stress, worry, OUR BREATH, then we’re aware & can do something to break the cycle of feeling YUCK.
Breathing is interesting in that, you can take conscious moments to connect with your respiration either when you are completely still or when you are physically exerting yourself in a much needed workout.
The other half of my breathing regimen is deliberately engaging in strenuous activity that requires my mind & body to work together in concert with my breath to accomplish a given workout. How many times do you hear your trainer say ARE YOU BREATHING!?
Yoga (another FAVE of mine) is a great way to get started with an activity that engages you in conscious breathing. One of the goals of yoga is to link your breath with different movements, in order to ground you. When your movements & breath are rhythmically united, a feeling of wellbeing comes about. Your body & mind LOVE to be in direct connection with one another. And I will REPEAT YOUR BODY AND MIND LOVE TO BE IN DIRECT CONNECTION WITH ONE ANOTHER. The point where the mind & body coalesce is where meditation happens.
However, yoga is not the only way to accomplish this. Anytime that you are physically exerting yourself & running or lifting weights. Your body has to work to make your breathing match what is demanded from the exercise. Again, anytime that the mind & body are united, THEY LOVE IT, this is why you’ve heard of people reporting a “runner’s high”. The synergy of mind & body, the release of endorphins that reinforce the joining of the parts, all drive you to a place where you are able to release & relax.
Try to take a deep breath every hour. You’ll feel the difference. I promise. It will avoid the state of freeze, allow you to breath in confidence & trust that you can & will accomplish it all.
Oxygen & breathing are what literally gives us life, but what are the things you live for? The things that actually make you feel ALIVE, THAT GIVE YOU BREATH?
For me, there is so much that fuels my breath, I’m not short on passion.
I can’t encourage you enough to challenge yourself to be more aware of when you’re holding your breath & recognize the feelings that you’re having in this moment, too. For me, when I feel as though the stress of the day is a boulder on my chest, I’ve programmed myself to be still & remember to simply breath. This exercise in mindfulness, brings me back into my body, connects me with it, & immediately produces feeling of well-being, triggering my mind to flash to moments that give me life. Playing in the park with my kids, & that hilarious thing that Charlie said as he was swinging. In these moments, I laugh out loud, I calm down, I remember who I am, that this day, is the moment, to be alive. So, I go on & live positively & passionately.
You should too. Breath deeply, take in the moment, bask in the glow of life. Just breathe.
Post up a comment and let's discuss!!! Let me know if you took the BREATHE Challenge & how it felt!!!