The counselor I see for general life stuff often asks me if I’m breathing. You see, I have this tendency to stop breathing or breathe shallowly when I’m feeling stressed out.
It’s a vicious cycle. Stop breathing due to stress –> less oxygen to brain –> brain gets stressed –> move into shallow, rapid breathing mode –> heart kicks up a notch to try and pump more oxygen to stressed out brain –> more stress.
Since Friday, I’ve been pretty damn stressed out, and I’ve been catching myself holding my breath while talking to other people or just when I’m sitting and thinking.
This has led me to pay more attention to my breathing and generated many sighs from me as I expel all that trapped air and then do a few deep, slow breaths to get back in rhythm. And as the general tension in my body decreases, I feel how wound up I’ve been and I do a few more breaths.
In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.
And a small measure of peace arrives.
That’s sufficient for now.