I’ve recently been feeling very anxious. As a rule, I’m quite an anxious person. I let myself feel completely overwhelmed by everything. All the things that I have to do swell into a formless mass of anxiety which clouds me. I feel as though I have very little control over situations, and also that everything is going to go horribly wrong and I won’t be able to cope.
The other morning, I sat on my bed and I breathed in and I breathed out. I closed my eyes. I focused on feeling that breath enter my nostrils, move down my windpipe and fill my lungs. I focused on feeling the slightest of pressures. I focused on feeling my lungs deflate as I exhaled. My thoughts drifted, and I drew them back to my breathing. I didn’t think about how long I was going to do this for and I certainly didn’t think about everything else I should have been doing except for breathing.
I tried to take my life back to the very beginning.
Focusing on one’s breathing, and that alone, means that you forget about everything else which is deemed ‘important’. There is nothing else but the inhalation and the exhalation. Once you take your life back to the beginning, then you can begin again.
I have an awful lot I want to do, and an awful lot of things I need to do in order to do the things I want to do. All of this can seem pretty overwhelming at times, especially on days where all I’ve done is…go to work and make chocolate crispy cakes. Instead of feeling relaxed on a quiet day, I get nervous that I haven’t done enough to fulfil the requirements. (What requirements? Well.)
After my breathing session, I felt a lot calmer about the goals I’d set myself. I realised that I have chosen each of these goals myself, and I want to achieve them in order to, at the moment, go to Peru. This is something I have a great desire to do. After my breathing session, I realised that as I am setting my deadlines, as it were, I can add one thing at a time to my list of foci. From breathing, and only breathing, I can then add: have breakfast. And in the time that I am having my breakfast, I will be having my breakfast. I will not be worrying about learning Spanish – especially at a time when it wouldn’t even be possible to crack out the books!
Today, a couple of days after my morning of breathing, this cropped up on the internet. It’s from ZenHabits and it’s about anxiety. There’s a part about breathing techniques in it! Gotta love internet coincidences.
So, when you’re feeling anxious, instead of rushing around and trying to battle with the giant formless mass of ‘stuff TO DO’, do the opposite. Sit down, breath and breath again.