Just Breathe

When the pressure of life seems overwhelming: take a deep breath. 

Like me, you may have heard that phrase many times.  As a child, it was something adults said frequently, but I never really observed anyone taking a deep breath.  As a child, I simply did not know how powerful a deep breath could be.  As an adult, I have seen others model taking a deep breath when under stress.   I also have learned that taking a deep breath actually slows down your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure.  Studies from seventy years ago noted decreased blood flow when a person took a deep breath.

Breathing is easy.  An average person (hard to find) takes fifteen breaths per minute and most of us are unaware when we do breathe.  (Do the math and you’ll find a very large number of breaths in one day!)  Slowing down the pace of your life to pay attention to your breathing is something that is worthwhile, yet it may take some practice.

By breathing deeply, I mean slow and deliberate breaths from your diaphragm.  Deep breathing means inhaling and exhaling in a slow and steady rhythm.  Concentrate on filling your lungs with oxygen.  Hold your breath for a moment and then exhale.  Focus on long and extended breathing, paying really close attention to each breath.  Practice. The next time you are feeling the demands of life weighing heavy, try slowing down your life to the pace of one deep breath.

Written by: GROW Staff

Article updated: January 29, 2024