Breathing isn’t easy.
Though naturally our bodies want to fill with oxygen…I often find myself holding my breath…going against my body’s natural inclination to live, to survive.
When I first found out that it’s impossible to kill one’s self from holding your own breath, I wondered how many people had tried before realizing it’s futility. Even without the desire to end one’s life, there is peace in controlling one’s breathing.
It’s interesting that the body won’t allow the mind to win.
When I used to run, I would know it was time to stop when I’d have to stop on the side of the road, trail or track to throw up or when my vision became too blurry.
My mind would tell me I wasn’t strong enough or that I couldn’t run 10 miles that day but because I knew those were lies, I always let my body speak for itself.
I was sure my body would stop me when it had had enough. I’d find myself lying on the ground for hours afterwards trying to regain my bearings. Nauseous and lightheaded, I’d lie there breathing with throw-up on my breath, listening to blood rush around in my head.
Gasping for air, I’d revel in those moments of victory…I had beat my mind…and that’s all that ever mattered.
Having depression and anxiety makes “beating my mind” far more urgent.
If my mind wins, my body loses…every time, without fail.
Anxiety, alone, has taught me the importance of steady breathing.
I often have to remind myself to inhale and exhale.
There is peace in being in control, even if it’s only over your own breathing.