When I get stressed or worried about something my breath gets shallow, or, I hold my breath. Breathing in stressful situations is something I’ve had to learn to do, and still have to make a conscious decision to focus on when life gets challenging. When we don’t take in enough air our brain starts to fire rapidly and we’re not able to make rational decisions. I practice yoga to learn to breathe, to practice breathing in uncomfortable or strenuous situations, and I’ve learned that when it comes to walking through things with grace, it’s all about the breath. If I’m breathing properly I can walk through anything, I feel calm, and able to rationally work through whatever comes my way.
The idea of breathing out to breathe in also symbolic for life on our journey for SLAYDOM. When we exhale the bad stuff, the stuff we don’t need, the stuff that doesn’t serve us, the stuff we let go, we inhale fresh air, we inhale the good stuff, we fill our lungs and our brain with the air it needs to keep us steady on our path. Sometimes it’s just easier to think of exhaling first rather than inhaling, so I focus on that when I notice my breath gets shallow, if I exhale, I’ll automatically inhale, and start a better flow of oxygen.
I also envision all the negative, the bad, the frustrations exhaling out of my body as I’m doing it, I try to see it and really let it go. I often will say to myself, exhale the bad shit, inhale the good shit, and I’ll keep saying that over and over as I do it until I start to breathe deeply on my own, and for me the good shit is the light, it’s my higher power, the force that guides me, protects me, and wants the best for me. I envision that coming in, filling me up, and circulating through my body. When I do this, my anxiety, my stress, goes down, and I just continue to focus on that until I feel I can move on.
It’s a great trick to remember when you feel anger, or anxiety, or frustration creep up, to visualize it leaving your body, to visualize that you’re forcing it out, to make room for something better. I’ve spoken about this before, but a trick I use is I put one hand on my abdomen and one hand on my heart, and as I’m breathing, I focus on only moving the hand on my abdomen because if that hand is moving that means I am breathing deeply, and correctly, and it always calms me down. A good one to do when you’re lying in bed, or while you’re stuck in traffic.
Since, for many of us, our mind goes to the negative before the positive, it’s a concept that seems to work for a lot of us, to focus on the exhale before the inhale, sometimes it’s just easier to get rid of something before we’re able to take something in, and by the nature of our bodies, if we do exhale we will automatically inhale and set ourselves up to get that oxygen flow, and positivity flowing throughout our bodies.
Get rid of the bad, and take in the good. Breathe SLAYER breathe.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you notice a difference in your breath when you’re feeling anxious or stressed out? Do you focus on breathing deeply? If not, why? Try to focus on that next time you feel that stress creep up, that tightening of the throat and chest, try a big exhale and inhale, envisioning letting out the bad, and taking in the good. Continue to be mindful of your breath SLAYER, it is our breath that gives us life, and also gives us a calmness we can use to walk through any circumstance. SLAY on!
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you