As my friend gripped my shoulders, he looked me in the eyes, shook me a bit with his grip and said we are taking three deep breaths. Inhaling together and exhaling together. The importance of breathing is very much undervalued in this world that is constantly gasping for air. As students our schedules keep us on the go, practically running a marathon and forgetting that the reason people last through their runs is because of their ability to hold a steady breath.
Instead of getting caught up in the momentum of life between part-time jobs, midterms, assignments, and extracurricular activities, the thing that should ground you is the ability to catch your breath in hectic moments. I have continued to realize with more time and with more messy moments in life that when things flip upside down it’s stepping away from everything and catching my breath that brings me back to focus.
More important than realizing the importance of breathing it’s remembering to breathe. Obviously, our bodies do this naturally but it is key to remember to take those hefty deep breaths in and out. The ones that actually make you feel your chest tighten then loosen, and recognize the beauty in something steady you actually have control over. It is the fact that even when you feel at your lowest you will have the ability to control a steady breath to refocus and realign your thoughts. I continue to learn the value of deep breathing throughout university, where low moments have made you look for something to reassure you that everything will be alright. Besides having someone there to grip your shoulders to remind you to breathe, be that for yourself. Remember to be your own wake-up call, step away from the thing worrying you, physically move and catch your breath and I can promise that it will make you feel better.
It is not only great to have family and friends who remind you of the amazing capability that deep breaths have, but it is even more astonishing when you help someone else realize this fact. It may seem silly but being the one to grip that person’s shoulders, when you see in their eyes that something is wrong, to take deep breaths simultaneously is a powerful act of reassurance we should all do for others.
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