Importance of Breathing Well in Staying on Track!

Good morning “My Life Experiment followers and newbies! You may or may not know that over the last five days I have been partaking an experiment I have dubbed “The Gratitude Intention.” I have been having some great realizations and have been putting together a list of tips on how to maintain a successful gratitude building routine, which I will write about in greater detail in the experiments conclusion article. One aspect in particular is what I want to touch on more deeply this morning!

There has been a constant aspect that has played one of the most important roles in keeping me able to be in a state of gratitude. That is my staying on top of breathing! It might seem a little obvious to some for me to say that breathing is important, but I believe it can be overlooked far too often.

I believe that because of the situations I put my body in for years while experimenting in dangerous ways, that my body tends to easily go into Fight or Flight mode when I am not paying attention to my surroundings. My understanding is that when in Fight or Flight, the body begins to shut down or slow down certain bodily functions so that it is better prepared for the danger it senses. That is whether the threat is real or imagined! So if a thought comes through my head about some “insulting” thing someone said earlier, my brain might take that as a threat to myself in the moment and begin to tense up to get ready to fight or get the hell out of here.

just breathe

There is no staying grateful when stuck in Fight or Flight mode. And it seems the only way to slide myself back into gratitude is to do some breathing to get relaxed. Then I can remind myself that I am safe by thinking about all the things there are to be grateful for. In my constantly changing world and the rough life I lived before recovery, my brain can sense all sorts of threats that have nothing to do with reality! Thankfully I have learned a technique to keep myself on track! None of this is possible if I fail to remind myself to breathe.

Right track

I am truly grateful for this routine and how much the refining of it has taught me about staying in reality and staying grateful. My routine yesterday went very well, all of the different aspects of it were accomplished, but were not necessarily accomplished in there “correct” order. With that I am entirely okay. I spent much of my day paying attention to my breathing and saying I love you to the things that popped in my mind that I appreciate!

I am already on day five and that is pretty awesome! I am excited to go into my day today thinking about how important breathing is to my gratitude routine and basically everything I do. Hopefully I have sparked a it’s importance in your head as well! Well on to my day of living life and building gratitude. I wish you the best and most grateful day you can imagine! I will be back tomorrow to touch on what I notice today, so stay tuned!

 

 

Bibliography:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/fight-flight-or-breathing-right-the-choice-is-yours/

 

“The Gratitude Intention” Day Three!

day 3

Welcome! First off, for any new readers to get up to speed, please check out “Stay Woke with the Gratitude Intention.” Then if you would like to read day one and day two you can get a sense for what results I have had so far as a result of this process. If you have read all of them so far then thank you very much for being so supportive of  “My Life Experiment!”

Yesterday was my best morning yet! I woke up at 7 a.m., got my coffee, fed the cats, wrote my daily to do list and got busy on my gratitude list. I kept in mind what I remembered from Day two (make sure to put emotion into writing what I am grateful for), and I finally made it to writing ten things to be grateful for and WHY, unlike my first two days! Thankfully I had a particularly easy time thinking of things to be grateful for, and invoking the feeling of gratitude from them.

Throughout the day I began developing a busy mind, I felt excited, but also a bit edgy. I was pretty stuck to my phone, watching stocks, watching my blog stuff, getting work texts. I wasn’t really watching to see if I was breathing well though, I also wasn’t looking around for things to be grateful for as much as I was the other two days. When it became time to close my eyes and meditate it was actually difficult. I believe it was around 4 p.m. before I got myself in a place where I could meditate well enough to say I accomplished my goal. But I am happy with how the session turned out!

As the day went on I stayed in a halfway good mood and halfway anxious mood. I would describe the state I was in as highly motivated with out the mindfulness needed to keep myself from creating stress from thoughts that don’t need to create stress. Later on in the day I did finally catch up to the knowledge that I needed to slow my phone roll down, and just breathe. I also did a little writing about my baby girl that will be showing up in a couple months, and that had a calming effect as well!

HALT

Then I finally made it home, after my wife and I retrieved the cat food I forgot in the shopping cart in the parking lot at Target! We ate some late night pizza (I was very hungry). I checked my computer for any last minute things and then off to bed I was. Before I knew it I was zonked out sleeping! I forgot to remind myself of my bedtime meditation and so it never became a thing (I was very tired). Thinking the day over I guess the acronym H.A.L.T (see below) comes into play. I was hungry and I was tired, but I made it through the day well with all things considered!

Thank you so much for checking out “My Life Experiment”, tomorrow I will post day four for you and I am determined to pump as much gratitude into my life as I can possibly stomach today. This should make for an interesting read tomorrow! I wish you all the time in to world to cultivate your own gratitude in this day! But remember, just because it isn’t always easy to do, It always seems to be worth the effort.

 

Things to Remember

-I am not always going to find it easy to be grateful, and that is okay.

-Motivation is great, but it is much more neurotic and stressful without mindfulness.

-The acronym H.A.L.T (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) this is an acronym that means whenever I am in too much of any of these feeling states, I should be very careful of what I think, do, or say.