November 16

7 comments

Breathe!

By Sue Ingebretson

November 16, 2010

anxiety, blood pressure, Breath, breathing, exhale, inhale, peace

As a kid, one of my favorite cartoons was a Loony Toons short featuring Louie the Parrot and Heathcliff the cat. The cat was a few cards short of a full deck. Heathcliff would often gasp, sputter and choke. Louie would say, “Breathe, Heathcliff, breathe! You forgot to breathe again.” Taking a deep breath, Heathcliff responded, “Der, that’s much better, Louie!”

I couldn’t find a clip on youtube, but here’s the IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040299/

Lately, I’m having to remind myself to breathe! Do you need that, too? If you’re under stress, do you hold your breath? It’s a natural reflex but not a great habit to get in to. There are books written solely on the subject of breathing – deep belly breathing, quick breathing and meditative breathing. Fitness practices such as yoga and tai chi incorporate breathing practices into every pose and move.

Breathing with intention helps to clear the mind, lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety, and even reduce pain symptoms.

Fall should probably be re-named the season of Busyness. It ushers in a heightened realization of what’s to come and what’s left to do. As my November and December schedule fills up with activities, commitments, and deadlines I need to be my own Louie and remind myself to breathe.

While things right now are hectic and sometimes chaotic, I often remind myself of how thankful I am. I’m thankful for my health, my family, and the opportunities that continue to come my way. With each deep inhale I think, “Peace” and each exhale I think “Gratitude.”

Peace and gratitude are great intentions that work well together. Sort of like Louie and Heathcliff – if you use your imagination.

I’d like you to stop what you’re doing right now and breathe deeply. Imagine that your entire being is filled with Heavenly peace. Exhale slowly declaring your feelings of gratitude.

Now, let me hear you say, “That’s much better!”

  1. I couldn’t agree more Sue. I have “breathe” as the banner on my cell phone so every time I look at it I’m reminded to do such a simple task that we often take for granted. The healing power of the breathe can move mountains!

  2. I 2nd that!
    Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself to breathe and to count my many blessings! Afterwards, I feel better physically and emotionally.

  3. Yes, this is something I also struggle with – breathing 🙂 I have found myself holding my breath.
    Also in order to remain calm, regroup or just relax when finding I have tensed up – I must remind myself to breathe.

    Yoga has helped me to achieve better breathing habits also, and also during yoga I get so much good breathing!

    1. Yoga and tai chi are definitely great for learning how to breathe. It takes time and patience, but it’s amazing to learn how often we hold our breath or take short, shallow breaths. Lack of oxygen isn’t good for our already muddled thoughts 😉

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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" 
~ Sue Ingebretson