You may think that I am going to say gratitude since this is a gratitude blog, but no. And you may have heard me talk about laughter being the best medicine, which is true, but still not the tool I am thinking of today. The very best tool we have, in my opinion, is breathing.
It is literally always available if we are alive. It can help ease stress, fear, anxiety, frustration, and so much more just by controlling it. Even when we do not have control over the situation we can choose to control our breath which can bring confidence and even calmness.
Controlling my breath has helped me in more situations and more days of my life than I can count. Sometimes it is conscious and other times I find myself slowing it down out of habit.
Last night my daughter woke five times. Every time there was crying and need but little ability to communicate what that need was. It can get really frustrating as a parent, both wanting to make it better to avoid more tears and also wanting to "fix" it so we can all just get some sleep. It triggers my anxiety of wondering if the child growing in my belly will be like her sister and wake every one to two hours for the entire first year.
But turning my focus to breathing can quiet all of those emotions. In...and out....in, hold.....and out.... It gives me the ability to be present for my daughter even if I can't fix it. It gives me the ability to quiet the fears because there is no sense keeping myself up all night worrying about something that may or may not happen and isn't in my control anyway. It gives me the ability to get some sleep in between calls.
I'm grateful to be breathing. I'm grateful for more than three decades of breath going in and out of my lungs. I'm grateful that my body knows how to do this even when I am distracted. I'm grateful to take over consciously breathing as a way to find control and calm when needed. I'm grateful for all the different forms of breathing techniques I have learned over the years and apply different ones as needed. I'm grateful to try to teach my daughter breathing techniques now so she can have this great tool to help her as she grows. I'm grateful for the book "Breathe Like a Bear" that brings it down to her level and makes it fun to do breathing activities. I'm grateful for the sleep I got last night and to know there is a possibility of a nap this afternoon.
What breathing techniques do you use? How often do you find yourself taking a deep breath?
May today remind us to just breathe. May we embrace the calm and control this simple act gives us. Have a beautiful day!