Not too long ago, I wrote an article on this site about some breathing exercises that help me when I am feeling stressed. However, often, when I find myself in a stressful situation, I panic. I can’t seem to think about a single thing – like I am stuck in time and place with the ability to move – my mind goes blank. Do you know what it’s like when you work out and hold your breath for a very long time before you suddenly remember to breathe? That is what I feel in these situations. It is as if someone has taken my breath away like I don’t know that I am supposed to breathe until it is necessary. I start to stress, sweat, and forget to take these five minutes to breathe and relax. What can I do in these situations? What can remind me to take those few minutes to myself?
Breathing is and sounds like the most basic of things, and it is. But, still, we often forget to do just that. And because it is such a basic human function, we don’t think about breathing that much, as it is a reflex, it happens automatically. But stress can disrupt this natural process. When we’re nervous or hyper-focused, we hold our breath. When we’re overstimulated, it can be difficult to catch our breath. When we try to suppress tears or stifle strong emotions, our breath becomes weak or irregular. Setting time in the morning, between 5-15 minutes a day, for breathing exercises or meditation, can help a great deal with relaxing yourself, resolving stress, and gaining more control of your breathing. I also highly recommend practicing pranayama breathing. Pranayama is Sanskrit and stands for controlled breathing. It’s a three-part breathing exercise where you breathe through your nose inhaling until you reach lung capacity, hold the breath, and then breathe out through the back of your throat. Please, try not to stress, take everything in your own time, and most importantly – remember to breathe.