LEARN TO BREATHE
We’ve heard we need to breathe. We know we need to breathe–long, slow, deep, focused inhales followed by full, complete, equally long exhales.
We know doing this type of intentional, mindful breathing helps calm us, lowers our blood pressure, and helps drop cortisol levels. We know mindful breathing is a form of nourishment for our parasympathetic nervous system, as one woman in Love Yourself: The Journey Begins so aptly described it.
We know our flight-fight-freeze nervous system needs this counterbalance so we can be well, stay healthy, engage fully, bring our best creative selves to the task at hand.
But….you may be thinking the same thing that women spoke aloud in that very same Love Yourself live video call.
“I need a reminder to do this. I need somehow to know that when I’m beginning to feel anxious that I have options. In the heat of the moment, I just forget to breathe.”
And, as a woman reminded us, this is pretty natural, too. (yep, the women showing up for Love Yourself are not only brave but incredibly smart.)
As it turns out, forgetting to breathe is also the body’s way of taking care of itself.
Forgetting to breathe is also the body’s way of taking care of itself.
Because when we are triggered or feeling anxious, the brain is busy preparing us to either fight, take flight, or freeze. It’s preparing to take action to preserve our very existence. It’s increasing our blood pressure, respiratory rate, sending out gobs of adrenaline and cortisol.
What our body is NOT actively engaged in is searching the files in our well-organized frontal cortex to look for ways to:
- a) recognize what’s happening as having an anxiety attack;
- b) look for similar files on how we’ve handled this situation in the past; or
- c) open the file of answers for what we could do in order to kick-start the parasympathetic nourishment, aka, intentionally, mindfully breathing.
I’ve joked that since this happens to me I’ve thought about a tattoo on my left wrist that simply says BREATHE.
But in the meantime, how do we remember to breathe when we are triggered, feeling anxious, out of control, ready to lose it?
The answer perhaps is this:[bctt tweet=”When we practice mindful breathing, we increase the chance of remembering it when we need it.” username=”GinLeeTay”]
There’s really no other way around it. Practice won’t make us perfect, or probably get most of us to Carnegie Hall, as they say. But practicing mindful, intentional breathing can help us increase our chances of remembering mindful, intentional breathing during the times we most need it.
Here’s one way Women of Wonder is hoping to help you boost your breath memory.
Every day for the next three weeks, or through December 21st, I’ll be LIVE on Facebook offering the time and space for you to practice breathing. I’m calling this offering of time and space:
5 Minutes to Boost Your Breath Memory
Every day for 5 minutes, I will lead you through simple breathing techniques that will help you practice grounding and centering in the present moment while also strengthening your breath memory muscles. These practices are ones that you can practice any time, nearly any where. They are practices I’ve learned from others and use myself.
Since they will be recorded, they’ll be available 24/7. I’ll also be offering an affirmative mantra for the day, something you can use to set your day’s intention for accepting you as you are, or, your enough-ness.
Five minutes may not seem like much, and in the midst of 24 hours, it may not be. Just like doing 5 elbow curls with a 3# weight once a week will probably not increase muscle mass. But when we do elbow curls every day, or at least more days of the week than not, we begin to develop muscle memory, strength, and ultimately resiliency to injury.
And that’s exactly what can also happen with practicing breathing for 5 minutes a day. It can not only manage triggers when they arise, but it can also help us develop resiliency to them, and to help us show up strong in our life.
And as we head into the frantic-ness of this season, breathing may just become your best friend.
5 Minutes to Boost Your Breath Memory begins tomorrow, December 1st. I hope you’ll follow Women of Wonder on Facebook to practice with me.
On this healing journey with you,
PS: If you’re ready to set aside some time just for you, schedule a 30 minute FREE Healing Arts Session with me where we’ll breathe, write, or create. The experience as the possibility to transform. Schedule here.
Ginny Taylor, Healing Arts Facilitator