19 Mar Remember to breathe
Over my 31 years of life I’ve been no stranger to hangovers. In the past I’ve spent whole days recovering from big nights out, literally handing over my time and money to something that made me hurl repeatedly into a bucket at the side of my bed. Thankfully those kinds of hangovers are a thing of the past, but I remember the one thing that used to help during the brain cracking and gut wrenching was oxygen. I’d take big, full lunged breaths, feeling the oxygen run through my veins, giving me temporary moments of peace.
Later in life in various employment situations I’d catch myself holding my breath. I’d be laser focussed on the task in hand. With that came huge tension knots in my shoulders, and a throbbing feeling of anxiety in my chest. Again, the only thing that would release me from this grip was oxygen. Sitting back for a moment and breathing in the healing air offered space and clarity. Along with space and clarity came perspective and a realisation that nothing is worth sacrificing your health for.
It’s the most natural thing, breathing, it’s easy to access and it’s free, and it’s heavily taken for granted. Paying attention to breath is like giving yourself free medicine. In yoga practices and meditation breath is a key component. These ancient practices didn’t prioritise it for no reason, they knew that breathing stimulates your cells, it activates all the parts of your body.
When your body is activated your power is activated. In our culture we value the power of the logical mind over the knowledge in the body. We spend hours at desks, leaving our bodies redundant and ignored. When I coach clients I ask them to connect to their bodies, because your body tells you the truth, a tingle in your legs gives you insight into a topic, a dull ache in the pit of your stomach might suggest your situation needs changing. What we have trained ourselves to do is bypass our feelings, making our minds the leaders and sacrificing the wisdom that lives in our bones. When you breathe, you give fuel to your body, you wake it up, you can hear what it’s telling you.
Your body is a magnificent indicator, it holds your truth. Take a deep breath and ignite it.