Breathing. Something I thought I didn’t have to worry about, let alone think about. But here’s the thing, I’ve spent too long not tuning into my body or paying attention to what it needed. Now that I am trying, I am finding that I don’t breathe all the times I should. It’s probably not a detrimental level, I feel like I would notice if it was detrimental...but I have noticed that if I breathe I feel more in tune with both mind and body. Weird, right?!
I don’t think that holding one’s breath is necessarily bad but when you do it unconsciously, and a lot, out of fear or anxiety it can really mess with your system. I don’t meditate, exactly, but I do use the techniques I’ve learned (from trying to start a practice) to help notice my breath. Am I breathing? Yes, good! No, well I guess I should breath...and continue breathing.
Writing this I have to keep reminding myself that I should breathe and, at times, how to breathe. It’s funny that, often, when you start thinking about your automated body processes, it can get weird. What I’m learning from this focus on breath is that intentional breath and intentionally breathing is a great healing project. I like calling it a project because it definitely doesn’t fix things overnight, but over time, building the intention to breathe can feel quite liberating.
I feel that intentionally breathing and centering myself within my body has allowed me to better process and sit with my emotions as they come rather than bottling them for later. I can process things more in the moment and know whether I need extra time to process with better clarity. It hasn’t been a cure all and there are many other factors pushing my better health momentum. But, I believe this has been a small but no less instrumental part of my journey.
So, remember to breathe. It’s rather important for living, but it’s also pretty great when practiced more intentionally. It may even help relieve some stress and anxiety.
Here I want to point out that, to me, meditation is what you make it. For some people it’s intentionally sitting still, cross-legged on the floor or a cushion. For others it’s their yoga practice. Whatever yours looks like is totally fine. Don’t let anyone tell you how you need to meditate, sure it’s good to get the basics but you don’t need to standardly follow them. Everyone is different, you do you!
Go forth, breathe with intention. Or not, it’s really your call...but maybe think about it?
—A Recovering Design Imposter