Remember to Breathe

The power of breathing is fascinating to me.

As a doula, I learned the deep power of breath to calm a woman down, to help her to focus, to help her to loosen her muscles, even to help her lessen her pain.

In yoga I learned the deep power of breath to help identify points of tension in my own body that I hadn’t even been aware of before.

As Trevor’s running coach, I am discovering the power of breath to get him through the panic that comes from training hard, or the effort of pushing me in a stroller up a very steep hill.

Emotional regulation strategies almost always include breathing strategies, such as the Six Sides of Breathing and Lazy 8 Breathing (both of which can be found in the Zones of Regulation materials.)

six sides of breathing

Lazy 8 Breathing

With all of these different experiences of breath, I’ve found myself using breathing in my everyday life more and more. I notice a bit of tension in my jaw – remember to breathe I tell myself – and the tension fades away. I’m wheeling into an important doctor’s appointment – remember to breathe. I’m having an intense conversation with a friend – remember to breathe. I’m scheduling what has no choice but to be a busy week – remember to put in time to breathe.

That single act – that single moment – can make all the difference to our capacity to stay grounded, to be our best version of ourself, to think clearly or act wisely or perform at our best.

Whether you struggle with anxiety or walk around free as a bird, a simple breath can improve your outlook in incredible ways.

So today, as we all think about a new school year, and the upcoming joys and stresses that might come with it, I encourage you to simply remember to breathe.

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