Addicted to Breath

It amazes me, truly amazes me, how impactful taking two deep breaths can be on a person. It amazes me, how if you focus on your breath your nervous system and anxiety can be adjusted.

From a young age we are told when upset to take a deep breath. I can attest to this as when I’ve babysat or been around parents with infants crying they say exactly that. Actually, it is more of a question asked, but you know what happens?!

The child LISTENS! They listen, they begin to take a deep breath, they start to calm down and then are able to listen to what the parent, guardian, or babysitter are telling them.

Slowly over time being asked to take a breath became being told to take a breath by someone of authority if we were emotional. (I don’t say upset because we all have been told it in varying degrees). I would be lying if I said that I didn’t get fired up once in a while if someone told me to take a breath.

The difference is I have become addicted to breathing. I have become addicted to the way it calms me down, addicted that natural ability to defuse my emotions, addicted to the ability to take a natural pause.

After taking two different style yoga classes in the last week I became even more aware of this addiction. One instructor taught a basic vinyasa flow with guidance and focus on breath and movement. The second instructor taught at a much more advanced level and didn’t queue breath and movement together. While I embraced the challenge of the second one I almost walked out.

Then I remembered that I control my own breath. So instead of continuing with the rest of the class I allowed myself a minute. I sat back in child’s pose and focused in on my own breath.

In doing some more research I was re-educated on the fact that shallow breathing is tied to our fight or flight instinct. Shallow breathing is most often a factor/result of stress, anxiety, depression and fear. In taking deep breaths it allows the heart rate to become normal, better oxygen flow within your blood stream and helps release the tension within your body.

My breath has helped my anxiety and my fear. It has helped me take a step back from allowing myself to throw my hands up after one week and say “Okay I did it” and beg for my old job back.

Take two deep breaths, then see where you are.  Do you notice a difference in your heartbeat? Do you notice you feel a bit clearer in the mind? Your breath is entirely within our control, there is a lot we do not control in life, but this beautiful gift of breath is one that we do. Use it!

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