I caught myself holding my breath today. It was subtle, so I wasn’t gasping for air or anything, but it was definitely happening. It made me realize that I (still) spend too much time getting worked up about things I can’t control.
Too often, I’m going through my day holding my breath and clenching my fists and basically trying to keep a firm grip on my life.
It’s not good.
When I remember, I tell myself to just BREATHE. That I don’t have to struggle. That an easy-breezy-beautiful life is one deep breath away.
My dad has always been the one to look me in the eye and say “Don’t sweat the small stuff, kid.” Gah! Why is that so hard to learn? To trust that it’s really all going to be okay? To believe that we can let ourselves breathe without the world falling off its axis?
In fact, I think when we cling to a false sense of control over our lives, we’re giving ourselves way too much credit. We’re acting like we’re in charge of everything – good AND bad. And that sentiment can make it incredibly hard to find our way to gratitude.
Gratitude is too powerful a force to carelessly dismiss; finding our way back to it can be life changing. And the fastest way I know to do that is to breathe. So,
You can do it right now, in fact. It only takes a minute to check in with your breath.
Take a deep breath in, through your nose.
Let it out slowly, through your mouth, maybe to a count of five.
Do it again.
Let go of something with each breath.
Unclench your fists.
Uncross your legs.
Drop your shoulders.
And just breathe.