Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Breathe

I've learned that I fail miserably at breathing. Yes, breathing. I didn't realize that I did until I went to my pulmonologist who asked, "Why are you holding your breath?" I told him that I WASN'T holding my breath, I was breathing. He said, "You THINK you're breathing but there's hardly any air coming in or going out. So, you decide - are you breathing?"

I think it began when I was little. I was an allergic kind of kid. I looked at grass and I grew welts. I wheezed and sniffed and sneezed for months throughout the year. I got used to my chest hurting and to compensate for that hurt, I taught myself how to breathe, my way. So, years later, I'm told that my way is like barely living. I'm killing my lungs and my heart and preventing healthy blood flow, all because of my very own, self taught breathing style.

Life has been like that for me too. I sucked at times when things got tough early in my life by just being and not doing. I thought that it was at least adequate enough to get by. I settled for what was because it was what I knew and it was in my comfort zone.

The more I became conscious of how I breathed or actually, "didn't breathe", I forced myself to fully take in air and slowly let it out. I found out something in the process....by being conscious of breathing, it gave me a chance to relax and focus.

By being aware of how much I was bypassing the chance to take risks and leave the normal and go for adventure, I found exhilaration and wonder and excitement. Now, I seek out abnormal, looking for excuses to make each day different.

Oh and the breathing? I still sometimes forget and hold my breath but I'm getting better at it, each and every day.

16 comments:

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

LOVED this, Simone. I've had the same challenge with breathing: allergies, asthma and then chronic pain, make my breathing shallow and I do tend to hold my breath.

Here's a self-hypnotic exercise to do...that helps you relax and/or sleep while it improves your breathing:

inhale to a count of eight, hold for a count of eight, exhale for a count of eight.

It forces you to inhale BIG.

Brian Miller said...

breathe deep and taste life...

Formerly known as Frau said...

I forget to breathe too....ahhhhh! life is better breathing! Have a wonderful day!

Mari said...

I'm another one with allergies and asthma, and I also do that to some degree. I like your comparison to life!

Helene said...

I do the same thing without even realizing it! It wasn't until I was at the gym with my trainer one day when she said, "Do you realize that you hold your breath all the time?" It sounded ludicrous...like how could I be alive if I was holding my breath ALL THE TIME. But once she pointed it out, I realized she was right.

And then when you consciously focus on breathing in and out...long, deep breaths...it feels really good. So relaxing.

Who would have thought it would take effort to breathe, right??

Mining for Diamonds said...

I do this when I perform, or feel generally anxious, I forget to breathe. I have to literally tell myself "in through the nose, out through the mouth". Deep breaths combat anxiety and panic attacks too. :) Thanks for sharing your story. Remember, we breathe the very Breath of God!!! It is OKAY to breathe and breathe deep! (I need this reminder myself!)

Nezzy said...

Great post Simone!!!

I've had issues with pneumonia in the past and practicin' yoga has helped my breath more than I can tell. Not to mention other parts of this old body! Heeehehe!!!

God bless ya and have an amazin' day my friend! :o)

Buckeroomama said...

Breathe. That's what I always tell J to do. Breathe deep.

Beautiful post, Simone.

Mommy Fabulous said...

A beautiful analogy. Don't forget to breathe in what life has to offer!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I do the exact same thing! Isn't it funny how hard a habit something that should be so nature is to break. Sheesh.

I'm catching up on your posts and happy to hear you're dating someone special enough to meet your family-- the two and four legged ones! That's terrific, Simone.

Keep up those deep breaths and ENJOY, xo jj

Deidra said...

When I taught aerobics (waaaaay back in the day) the thing I had to remind my students most frequently was to breathe. It's funny that we ration breath when things get tough, huh? It's the opposite of what God did and does - He breathes into us and we become alive! Keep breathing, Simone! Keep breathing! :)

Danica said...

It's funny you mention this because when I had surgery a year ago the nurses were panicking because they said the oxygen coming into my lungs was very little. They said they would watch me sleep and I would hold my breath. I still have to remind myself to breath. I'm not sure why I do it but I do.

Lin said...

I took a yoga class years ago and that is when I realized how we all sort of gulp for air and don't really breathe. We really do need to slow it down and actually inhale AND exhale. It's not just you, pally.

Sweet Tea said...

Sometimes "breathing" is a hard lesson to learn. You're on the right track, GF. Keep it up!

dana said...

A blogger friend of mine keeps telling me to "breathe". Now I'm more aware of the fact that I'm a shallow breather and hold my breath more than I realized...but I still can't BREATHE. I try it for a breath or two, then go back to my worries and stiffen up.

tera said...

What a neat blog post! I think it is easy for us to forget to "breathe" sometimes. As someone who has had trouble with both the figurative and literal breathing...I can appreciate this!

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