At one time or another, we’ve probably been told to “take a deep breath.” Although it may have been by your doctor or nurse, chances are a friend said it to you if you were stressed or anxious. I never realized what excellent advice that was until recently. Now, I find comfort in knowing that no matter what has me feeling not-so-great, I always (fingers crossed!) have the ability to take and appreciate taking a nice, deep breath.
Here’s the part I hadn’t contemplated until recently. With every breath we take, amazing things seamlessly occur in our bodies. We breathe in oxygen and our lungs (with the help of our heart) send that oxygen out to every cell in our bodies. Our cells (and consequently, we) would die quickly without oxygen. So our cells use the oxygen-rich blood and send back the rest to our heart, which sends it to our lungs, which send it back out to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (which incidentally, all the things in nature need to grow). And all of this happens without us giving any conscious attention to it~Wow!
I’m guessing we’ve all experienced being frustrated or worried or exhausted by something and we let out a long, heavy sigh. I used to do this a lot when my life was, let’s say chaotic, and I didn’t like it. What I realize now was how perfect that was. I was feeling overwhelmed and unhappy and, without my conscious attention, out of nowhere comes this prolonged exhale, which sounded something like ugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. My intuitive body gifted me with a nice, deep, cleansing breath~How utterly cool!
As an enthusiastic student and soon-to-be teacher of meditation, I’ve learned the intangible value of focusing on my breath. I’m naturally developing (and you can too!) the ability to really tune in to the perfection of my respiratory system and think about breathing in abundance and breathing out resistance. In with the good, out with the not-so-good. As I’m thinking about the words I’m hearing, and focusing on my breathing, the fast-paced, sometimes anxious thoughts are kept at bay, and my mind gets that much needed break in the action. To which I say ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, which is way different than uggggghhhhhhhh, but amazingly, has the same effect.
When is the last time you really thought about how perfect and effortless, not to mention essential your breathing is? Think about it, appreciate it and visualize breathing in, not just the oxygen, but every other good thing you want. And as you exhale, let go of the resistance, the worry and the stress. Silly little thing that makes a profound difference. And the next time you let out a heavy sigh, say Thank You to your body. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh……..