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”, Going Strong on Day four!

Good morning folks! Welcome to the fourth day of my gratitude invoking experiment. For those that have been following my journey, welcome back! For those that just found “My Life Experiment” today, I am happy you stopped in! To get up to speed on what this experiment consists of please check out “Stay Woke with the Gratitude Intention.” There are also days one through three to read up on to get the full picture of what has happened during “The Gratitude Intention” so far!

Alright, time to get into how day four went down. In a lot of ways the day four was very similar to the past days I have written about. Though I find it important to write about it and read about it, even though they may look similar there are a lot of little details that are different. I find it important to notice these little details, because sometimes just the slightest detail can bring to light an aspect of the process that is of great importance.

I woke up pretty early on this chilly North Dakota Saturday, but i also had a recovery meeting to attend early this morning. I didn’t get a chance to write my gratitude list of ten things, I got 4 done in kind of a rushed way and I was cool with that. I can have a tendency to follow my routines a little too strictly and be too hard on myself when i don’t follow them “to the T”. But thankfully I have learned that it really doesn’t solve anything to beat myself up over “missing the mark.”. It’s like the dieter that eats a meal that they shouldn’t have (been there). What is best, to badger myself with guilt, or just move on and set my sights on getting back on track? I prefer the second option by a landslide!

stay flexible

My afternoon was geared toward appreciating the things around me. When I was driving around I turned off the music and was very mindful about how great my life is. I was breathing deeply, I was easily letting go of any stress inducing thoughts that arose. Moments like this are truly awesome, no fear, just freedom. I didn’t really find it necessary to stop fully and meditate on the things I was grateful for, since I was already feeling plenty of gratitude. But I did anyway, because that is what I set out to do in the experiment. I realize that even though I am only writing about this experiment short term (I think its temporarily anyway), that if the gratitude routine is beneficial, then I will be continuing it indefinitely. And if I am going to continue it then i better “weld” these steps into my brain so they become habitual!

My night at work went about the same way. Although my focus was more on taking care of the needs of my client than focusing on gratitude. Although when my client went to sleep I did take the opportunity to finish writing up the gratitude list I couldn’t finish earlier. It felt great to finish writing that, it led the way for some emotion to arise, and that is most definitely something I appreciate. Then I went home after work, cleaned out the litter boxes, chatted with my wife for bit, then went to bed. I was able to have a couple of minutes to meditate on the beauty of the day, but before I knew it I was waking up to the alarm.

Once again, thank you for checking out “My Life Experiment!” I appreciate all of you and my hope is for you to have a wonderful day that is full of awareness for the things to be grateful for. We are now over halfway through “The Gratitude Intention,” so my mind is busy thinking of the next experiment to begin. I don’t know what this experiment is yet but I do know it is going to offer me the opportunity to create important changes in my life. If you are interested in what my next life experiment will be please follow “My Life Experiment” and stay in touch!

 

Things to remember:

  • Everyday is different, and routines need flexibility.
  • Its never too late to get back on track.
  • I am trying to create a long-term habit here.