How to breathe…
I think we all should know by now how to breathe, but when I mean "How to", I am specifying it as a method.
Over the course of my life– going through severe depression, unheeding anger, and uncontrollable anxiety, I found a simple technique that not a lot of people would believe could be helpful, including myself. And it's breathing…
Times where breathing can benefit:
- Overthinking – over stimulating the brain into thinking your subconscious is indeed your conscious. When you feel as if you are overthinking. Breathe in through your nose while counting to seven. And then breathe out in completion. Continue doing this several times until you feel as if your whole focus in onto your breathing. Then after you're done, tell yourself, "it's going to be okay" or "don't worry. it's not as big as you think". Keep reassuring yourself things will be alright, because they will be. No matter what happens.
- Anxiety – Sometimes feeling extremely anxious can follow overthinking. And at some times, people have sparks of anxiety that they feel as if they cannot control. That was my case. So what really helped was focusing on my breathing. Breathe through your mouth deeply and loudly if you end up feeling anxious. You could do the same method for overthinking; breathing in general helps. I still get anxious from time to time, but I minimized the overwhelming sensation to just one breath in and out. I have a better control over my anxiety because of one deep breath in and out.
- Meditating – Not all breathing techniques have to be after an overall negative affect. Meditating really helps control your breathing, and gives you loads of practice in focusing. When you breathe in and out as you are meditating, don't forget that it is okay if your mind wanders. Just a little note-to-self, meditating is also realizing you are thinking, but knowing it is okay. Then you'd focus back towards your breathing. And you can choose to breathe through your nose or mouth.
- Eating – Some may know and others may not, but how you breathe is very important while you eat. Have you ever noticed how one breathes while eating? Some may breathe very heavily as they chew on their favorite foods or some you may not hear a single peep. Usually, the ones who eat faster, breathe heavier. In retrospect, doing so can literally cause obesity (if we go that far). Slow eaters tend to get fuller fast because of the time they take to eat. It takes your body at least 20 minutes to realize it's full. So, pay attention on how you breathe while you eat. If you can control your breathing to your normal rate, it could definitely benefit your overall health.
- Stress – We all go through a stressful situation from time to time. I, however, like to think I never get stressed even though I do. Which kind of helps in situations where most people could stress over, while I just keep telling myself it's not something to get stressed about. But let me be honest, there are times I do tell myself that same line, but feel the adrenaline take over my positive thoughts. So I say 'whatever' to those and let me be stressed. Now in general, I am handling and controlling my stress pretty well. And I figured that is a great way to release stress quicker. Just breathe. And tell yourself. "Just breathe". I want you to say that to yourself. Keep repeating over and over until you do it. Again like with anxiety, breath deep and loudly. Except. breathe faster and through your nose. Usually stress boost a whole lot of adrenaline through your body and causes your mind to think you have a lot on your plate right now. But if you pace your breathing alongside your adrenaline, your body will then become tired, and will ease the tension that the adrenaline has created. And maybe comfort yourself afterwards with your favorite ice tea or beverage as a reward for staying calm.
- Exercising/Yoga – If you've exercised before, you know how it takes a toll on your body. Breathing is key when we work out our bodies to the extremes for stamina and endurance. Breathing through fast pace exercising can be difficult to control, but so can slow-paced work outs, like yoga. It's all about control and not letting your breathing overcome you. Depending on what kind of exercise, try different ways of breathing; through your nostrils or your mouth. Deep long breathes or steady fast breaths.
There are indeed so many other ways to breathe in different occasions. These seem to just be a highlight in my life. I hope you can find a way though things you come across by just simply, breathing. It took me a long time to realize how useful it is, and I hope you decide to try it one day.