The Power of Just Learning to Breathe

12027636_10101091322837553_8221310116489725275_nEpictetus, “Man is troubled not by events themselves, but by the views he takes of them.”

I wanted to post this back when I did a yoga post, but I guess, TODAY is the perfect day for this post.

Stress is a killer. I truly believe this. And we live in a society of stress. It’s almost like we thrive in pushing ourselves beyond limits and racking up tension in our own lives. Let’s pack our schedules. Forget about ourselves. Our bodies. Let’s run around. Do you schedule time for peace? Do you schedule time for yourself? Emotional stress. Physical stress. It is all taking a toll on our bodies. And the worst thing is that the pain is self-inflicted. And it creates chronic inflammation, which manifests into diseases. We are killing ourselves and making ourselves sick over all the stress we introduce and allow into our lives. When are we going to get it? I remember a rad conversation I had at the market with one of my favorite customers Tanya. Stress is detrimental to our, your, my health.

So let’s chills. Implement things into your life that calm you down and take the edge off. Have a fall back. I do have to say I have a pretty chill, laid-back disposition. This has taken time and practice. And having some pocket go-to’s when I’m feeling stressed or worried.

I’ve wrote about yoga. I’ve written about meditation. I’ve written about walking and hiking (this is my favorite go-to, to return to a place of peace and serenity). <<<<—– Feel free to click any of the blue links to check out my thoughts on these. But sometimes it is as easy as breathing. My cousin Jacki suggested the book Three Deep Breaths at the top of this page. Check it out, it is a nice little book. But first just think about it. Breathing is a key element of practices like yoga and meditation. You allows go back and are aware of the breath. Each inhale. Each exhale. Think of Thich Nhat Hanh: 

Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I smile. tattoo - Google Search:

Nice, right? Feel a little calmer? Seriously, take a moment. Put your hand over your heart. Breathe in. Breathe out. Release the tension in your shoulder. Take in the present moment. Feels good, right?

Here is some from the book. Three breathes. A centering one. A possibility breath. And a discovery breath.

Centering is a journey that starts with breathing. Centering does not take time-it takes intention. Breathe in the present moment, with balance and energy. The possibility breath: Breathe in the “me I want to be” with power and purpose. The Discovery Breath: Breathe in the Mystery, let go of judgment. But what if I can just breathe in the Mystery? If I can ask myself, of all there is to know in this infinite universe, how much do I know? If I were to represent the percentage of what I know as the space between my finger and my thumb-I couldn’t make that gap small enough. That Infinitesimally small piece of knowledge, in relation to the whole universe! The lunacy of spending so much time trying to be so right about so little! I can breathe and laugh and let go of the struggle. Not knowing is a wonderful thing; it can set me free. I can consciously choose that my next action, my next words, can come from an intent to learn, rather than from an intent to defend. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE.

How can you release yourself from stress? Start with breathing. Make the connection.

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