Are you breathing right now? I know you want to stay alive, so you’re pumping at least 12 breaths a minute. But what kind of breaths are they?
Let me change the question to this:
How are you breathing right now?
Recently, I’ve come to the following conclusion:
Breath isn’t just what keeps you alive. Breath is what determines the kind of life you live.
There’s a reason yoga is all about your breath, keeping it deep and even. Without focusing on your breath, the overall effects of yoga (like mindfulness, relaxation, refreshment, etc) would not be as effective.
Your breath is the steering wheel of your life.
I’m trying to take control of this steering wheel more each day, paying attention to my breath, to the in’s and out’s of it, to how different patterns make me feel.
It isn’t easy.
Breathing is so instinctual, so ingrained in the prehistoric parts of our brains, that we can’t unwillingly stop breathing. Your breath is a constant. It’s been by your side for every single moment of your every single day.
Your breath is something you never have to think about. It never fails you. No wonder you hardly notice it.
But your breath does fail you. All the time.
Your breath fails you because it allows you to believe that it’s always right, no matter what it’s doing.
When you’re under stress, your breath quickens. When your head hurts, your breath quickens. When you’re afraid the hot guy you’re texting won’t reply, your breath quickens. When your client calls, your breath quickens.
But should your breath be allowed to do as it likes? Is it right for it to speed up and down as it sees fit?
Your breath is the steering wheel to your life. How you breath determines how you live.
It’s a constant battle to maintain awareness of my breath throughout the day. I’m not perfect at it by any means, but I’m trying. Despite the urge to give into my breath’s pace, I’m trying to:
- Become aware of how I’m breathing (slow or fast) as the day goes on
- Take deep, slow breaths when I want to calm down (during a difficult conversation, for example)
- Take shorter, quick breaths when I want to amp up (for workouts, for example)
I’d love to hear from you in the comments:
Have you ever tried to change your mindset by changing how you breathe? If so, how’d it go?
Wishing you awesomeness from Managua,