Sunday, October 23, 2016


Have you ever given much thought to your breath? To how often you breathe, the rhythm of your breath, whether or not you breathe through our nose or mouth?

Maybe, or maybe not. 

I've given a lot of thought to my breath. I distinctly remember an instance when I was young- maybe 6 or 7, sitting in the chair where my mom would do my hair for school. I had been thinking about my breath, and I said "I'm worried I'm going to stop breathing or forget how to breathe." Instead of brushing off my fears, my mom said "I know what you mean. I've felt that before, too. I just remind myself that I know how to breathe. But I know it can be scary". Ever since then, when I feel like I CAN'T breathe, I go back to those words. I know how to breathe. I know this is scary, but I will catch my breath again.

When have I lost my breath? In times of severe anxiety. When tears are falling too hard. When I am put on the spot. When I get scared. When I heard bad news. After a long run or a hard workout. And, at one point in my life, simply walking up a flight of stairs. But I always find my breath again. Without having to think too much about it, it comes back. And trust me, there are times where I do not think I will ever be able to catch my breath. But I always do.

All my life, the words "breath" and "breathe" have brought me immense comfort. I think it's the simple fact that to breathe means to live- and so long as you continue to breathe, you are still alive. You have not been consumed by whatever it is you thought was going to take your precious breath away.

I've been taking yoga classes here and there for the last three years. Breath, and paying attention to your breath, is one of the core aspects of yoga. Learning to really control my breath, to sit with my breath, to try different KINDS of breathing (who knew there were so many?) has made a very deep positive impact on me. I have a breathing technique when I cannot sleep at night. I have a breathing technique at the dentist, when I'm getting a massage, when I'm anxious, and when I'm nervous or when I'm angry. 

It's so easy to turn to someone who is anxious and to say, simply "breathe". Sometimes it can come off sarcastic, or rude. But breathing really is one of the best things you can do in that situation. It will bring on the calm, and the peace you need to move onward. 

I'm honestly not sure why I wrote about this, or that my post even makes sense. I just feel almost surrounded by the idea of breathing, and with breath comes calm. I know there are may be other people out there who struggle with anxiety and may "lose their breath", and I hope it helps to know- you know how to breathe. You WILL breathe. And you will become calm again.

I told you've I've been drawn to these words, I've also been drawn to songs that embrace this idea. I'll share a few here:

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