When the movie Waiting to Exhale came out, I remember this particular outspoken mother. She was on a talk show with her daughters and she said, “My daughters better breathe now!” They were discussing the movie which was originally a book written Terry McMillan. It basically dealt with women in challenging relationships.
In essence, she was saying that she did not want her girls to hold on to pent-up emotions and consequently make themselves sick. They needed to exhale and breathe as they worked through whatever was happening in their lives.
Sometimes, when we are traveling through challenges, we think that we are truly breathing. But in actuality, we are taking short, light- leveled breaths. Most spiritual gurus will tell us to take deep breaths. With a deep breath, we feel a lift of the shoulders and a squeeze of the lungs. A conscious deep breath gets that oxygen to the brain as we fill our lungs with fresh air.
Thich Nhat Hanh writes that when we do conscious breathing, we get in touch with our gut-level feelings. If we pull out those feelings and honestly admit what is going on, we have a better chance of ultimately controlling our emotions.
If something caused us pain, we should go ahead and say ‘ouch.’ We should let ourselves have a short time to sulk, cry, talk with a trusted friend, journal, walk or do whatever is necessary to get us to the next level.
We should take ownership for how we really feel about incidents and events and know that it is okay to feel that way. Then, we have a better chance of returning to a healthy state which allows us to take deep breaths as we heal.
According to the COPD Foundation website, deep breaths allow oxygen to flow in and carbon dioxide to go out. We pull fresh air into our lungs and we let go of the stale, trapped air. Whenever, we see someone in crisis mode, the first thing a wiser person will say is, “Breathe!” They do not want the person to have a panic attack or begin to hyperventilate.
When we take deep breaths, we breathe from our diaphragm. The COPD website refers to it as abdominal or belly breathing. When we are conscious of how we are breathing, we can take deep breaths to help us relax and calm down.
Physicians tell us to, “Take a deep breath,” during examininations. It allows them to see what is going on inside of us on a physical level. So, just think what a deep breath does for our emotional balance.
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote one book called, ‘Breathe.You are Alive!’ He said, “To be able to let go is already to have arrived at liberation.” So, we must take deep, healthy breaths and know that it is going to be just fine.
Lynn January 23, 2015