A reminder to breathe

silhouette of man sitting on grass field at daytime
Photo by Spencer Selover on Pexels.com

Oh 2020…

So much feels out of control.
Overwhelmed is a stop on our daily errand run.
Priorities shift like sand through our fingers.

With precariousness abounding, one simple yet profound reminder that I must put out into the world today is… to breathe!

It seems we are collectively holding our breath these days.

We are waiting for the vaccine to end the spread of COVID-19… we have been waiting to see what will happen when children go back to school… we are anticipating two tropical storms looming in the Gulf of Mexico and fire fighters snuffing out the fires on the West Coast… the election trail is heading up the steep rise into the final months… racial tensions are in plain sight… we all look forward to ringing in 2021.

PAUSE.

Breathe in – one, two, three. Breathe out – one, two, three.

“The wisest one-word sentence? Breathe.” – Terri Guillemets

I know for me, my breathing is hindered when I am anxious. I often realize I will be caught up in my anxiety and have not actually breathed in quite a beat. This inherently is based upon our “fight or flight” reaction, used best in keeping us safe from harm or danger.

In many ways, doesn’t it feel like we have been in a fight or flight moment since early March?

Breathe in – one, two, three. Breathe out – one, two, three.

We cannot control many things right now. So much has been added to our normal everyday stresses, that overwhelmed feels too “new normal”. Priorities have become a bit more basic – taking care of our family, taking care of ourselves, and wearing a face mask so we can take care of others.

Breathe in – one, two, three. Breathe out – one, two, three.

For most, intentional breathing immediately has the power to change posture and focus. The very act of paying attention to breathing calms hurried and unsettled minds.

Breathe in – one, two, three. Breathe out – one, two, three.

If you have not already taken the time to do a short breathing exercise while you have read this, take some time now.

“The ability to breathe is a gift. Wake up grateful each day for that gift.” – Johnny Lung


Read on for more practical information on breathing as a relaxation technique: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response

 

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