some years ago, a therapist told me that i tend to subconsciously hold my breath. i learned that this habit comes from subconscious anxiety (probably amongst other things) and that such limiting of my oxygen intake can erode my health over time. i was paying attention.
now when i catch myself— which is typically daily— i let out a big, big exhale.
and then i let in a big deep breath and exhale again— slowly or swiftly, whatever is needed in the moment.
i often say to myself, “exhale exhale exhale.”
this becomes a pretty powerful opportunity for in-the-moment awareness as well. i might ask myself:
- what am i “holding my breath” about?
- or, what am i holding onto?
- what am i afraid will happen?
- is there something i’m secretly dreading?
- what am i hiding from?
- what might be making me feel tense or uneasy?
- do i feel unsafe right now? why?
- am i disallowing flow and trust in this moment somehow?
- am i simply holding onto generic anxiety because that’s what i’m used to?
what often arises upon answering any of these questions is a realization of some sort of subconscious “clenching.” typically, this clenching— or bracing— is the result of repetitive thoughts or beliefs about the “reality” of our world, our lives, ourselves being erroneously deemed truth and subsequently embedded as a broken record in our subconscious.
once we recognize this subconscious fight or flight (or freeze) loop is silently draining our life force, our exhale allows us to gently recognize and release our false narratives, moment by moment.
exhale and let go, loves. i’m doing it right here with you <3