The Lost Art of Breathing

At today’s workshop, we did a visualization exercise where we reflected on our why’s. It began and ended with deep breaths.

When it was over, Cheryl Lee, the leader today, asked us if we had any observations about the activity.

“I feel lightheaded!” I said. Everyone laughed.

But it was true, I did feel lightheaded. Cheryl explained that it may be because I’m not used to breathing deeply, that in this fast-paced day and age, people have pretty much evolved out of deep breathing, which can be an excellent stress-reducer.

I think that’s probably true. It felt good. I felt quite a bit more relaxed than usual.

I’ll think to myself, I don’t get that stressed because my job’s not stressful, but I think that’s a mistake. I think much of my stress comes directly from the pressure I put on myself. Each day I overeat or make mistakes causes me stress. Messes stress me out. Raising young kids can be stressful, especially when you also work full-time, no matter what it is you do. Money stresses me out.

Even just not being able to stay up later is a source of stress for me. Compound stress with my natural propensity toward anxiety/ depression/inattention/ impulsivity, and you’ve got yourself a cocktail of general unease.

I guess what I’m saying is, there’s something to be said about that deep breathing. I’ve always thought it would be beneficial to me, but I rarely take the time to sit down and do it.

Meditation, I think, would be a double whammy against my stressors, but I never feel like I have the time or attention span for it. I’ve sometimes put myself to sleep trying to meditate.

Guided meditation might work.

I think even just breathing deeper, though, would improve my quality of life. Chill me out. Maybe make things easier. Including following a program.

Some NSVs for today:

  • We went to the movies. They didn’t have my usual Sno-Caps, and I didn’t get anything else instead of them.
  • I only had a few handfuls of movie popcorn; not half the bag.
  • I did not buy a 30-point Crumbl cookie next door at the end of the movie, even though I was starving.
  • I ate a salad instead.

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