Friday, September 16, 2011


A friend of mine recently reminded me to Breathe.

I know that this is rather unusual...after all the mechanics of human breathing are pretty much managed at the brain stem level (function without serious consideration) and since I've made it to the realm of the "over 40 crowd", it's apparent my brain stem has been working just fine for awhile.

The cool thing about breathing though, is that we humanoids can also actively manage to regulate our breathing for a variety of reasons.  What initially comes to mind is breathing through pain or as part of an exercise regimen such as yoga or tai chi.  The deliberate style of breathing that means you're conscious of how the air actually feels in your body and letting the action of breathing become the focus.  For the rest of this post, I'll call this out with a capital "B", for Breathe.

I can recall twenty or so years ago (no, really, I can!), my Psychology 2-oh-something class had me recording and managing my stressors and subsequent reactions.  As part of the study, I was introduced to a variety of techniques to manage my stress-response.  This proved to be very handy, because one of the foremost ways to manage stress is to breathe through it, and you rarely need anything more than the equipment you already have with you to do it.  

Having an anxiety disorder, I do have a tendency to 'ramp up' quickly and end up in a place where I simply cannot manage my level of investment into whatever the situation is.  This can cause no end of volatility in an otherwise neutrally chaotic existence (LOL).  The solution?  Breathe.

And reminders to Breathe.  I had a large note above my computer monitor in my last office, on a bright neon green 4"x6" post-it note.  "Breathe" was one of the items listed (another was stretch) and it really did work to help me remember to stop and take a moment to ground myself.  

I've had a variety of stressors battering at me over the last couple of weeks, and I haven't resurrected the sign in this new office.  I think it might be time to find a place for it.  

1 comment:

  1. Also swallow, or you'll end up drooling. *nods*