Life is just one breath. We come into the world in an inhale and we leave the world in an exhale. It is what unites us all on this planet. We may not speak the same language or live in the same part of the world but we all inhale and exhale every day. Breath awareness and control is a great tool of relaxation and calming the body. When we are stressed, our breathing rate increases. This leads a whole chain reaction in our body into a stress mode, also known as “fight or flight”.
As soon as we make a conscious decision to calm our breath and take control of it, to relax it, we set off a chain reaction in our body lowering our heart rate. This makes us feel relaxed.
I started to pay attention to my breathing throughout the day while I was at work. Sometimes, performing a highly technical dental procedure can be stressful. I noticed there were times I found myself actually holding my breath while working! I started to feel the stress it would cause in my body. Once I became aware of it, I started to just focus on maintaining equanimity between each inhale and exhale. I noticed that what I had perceived to be a stressful situation all of a sudden seems a lot more manageable once my body was able to maintain calm.
I have also used the breathing exercises with patients. No one likes getting numb and I always take a moment with my patients to
have them take a few deep breaths in and out before a procedure. I then have them close their eyes and focus on each inhale and exhale throughout the numbing process. I have found this to be a great relaxation tool.
Life can be chaotic, but focusing on the simple essence of something like the breath is a very centering tool.
Just be still and feel yourself breathe in and out. Be thankful for the present moment, the only moment in which life exists.