Back to school is my least favorite time of year! I am mourning the end of my favorite season and basically on a fast track to my kids leaving me for college…in 12ish years. I don’t like one bit of it; as shown by the pile of school forms on my counter that have yet to be filled out. (I’ve been in denial, what can I say) I also decided that this week we should REALLY, OFFICIALLY start/finish potty training the little one, and let me tell you, after having the easiest time with my first, I mistakenly thought it would be a breeze. I should have known my stubborn little man would make it as painful as possible on me. These factors followed by a not so fun work week and an awful forecast for our last fun summer weekend left me losing my mothertasking mind. I felt my Apple watch buzz and looked down and it said, “BREATHE”! And because Apple somehow knows everything about you at all times, I trusted the recommendation and took a deep breath. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.
Breathing should be easy because we do it all day, every day. I mean, it’s what keeps us alive and all right? What I didn’t know is how important breathing can really be mentally and emotionally. When I first started yoga, I went for the exercise part of it. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that breathing was such a huge part of it and left me feeling so good mentally, as well as physically. When we breathe unconsciously it is controlled by the medulla oblongata. (I never thought I would use those words after 7th grade science class.) However, when we consciously breathe we stimulate the cerebral cortex and more evolved areas of our brain which have a relaxing/balancing effect on our emotions. Who would have thought?! Maybe I should have paid more attention in science class. Well, in and just after yoga class I felt great and wanted that feeling all the time. I started practicing in other scenarios and it truly resets me! It lets all my other thoughts, stresses and distractions pass by and keeps me present and finding calm when I am at my most frazzled.
So when your newborn won’t stop crying, you’re in an argument with your significant other, your toddler is pushing every button of yours, everything at work seems to go wrong, you’re stuck in awful traffic, etc…use all these opportunities to take a moment and just BREATHE! In through your nose and out through your mouth. Let your lungs fill up and let the slightest bit of calm wash over you so you can refocus on the situation with a clear head! It seems so simple, but we know it’s not. We’ve all been there when anger takes control and we look back regretting how we reacted to certain situations. We yelled at our kids, we misjudged a driver on the highway, we wasted a good date night with our spouse because “being right” was more important than being nice. It happens all the time, which is why we think this reminder is SO important. Sometimes it just takes a little (or a lot of) practice! Just breathe. I promise we’ll all feel better after!