The best prescription for pain is tried and true, it stands the test of time, and can be used by anyone, anywhere, without the use of pharmaceutical narcotics. It can save that trip to the doctor’s office, save the co-pay, and definitely save from paying for a prescription (saving in both a monetary sense as well as save from forming a nasty narcotics habit). It has been utilized for several millennia around the world.
Ready? It’s a no-brainer.
Have you ever been in a freak-out moment, stressing and going a bit crazy, and then someone yells, “RELAAAAX!!!” Yep it seems pretty antithetical. What do they know? We’re UPSET! UGH! Can we just BE upset?
Absolutely. We are totally allowed to feel. We MUST process emotions and feelings, otherwise we numb them, let them accrue interest, and then come back at a totally inappropriate time. We take it out on our partners, our children, with clients, at work, on our loved ones, and on our fuzzies (pets, if applicable).
It’s okay to feel. That’s part of being human. Even computers must process information before “reacting”. We’re no different.
We can actually control our reactions, and most importantly, we can manage how we deal with incoming stimuli, such as stress, pain, and fear.
If we’re doing it in a reactive way (post-event/trauma/pain), we can get into some deep breathing. Yes, breathing, It’s that simple. Do we allow ourselves just a few moments in the day to pause, take a deep breath, and slowly exhale it out? Can we commit to five cycles of breath at least once a day? Of all the shit we do and put into our bodies, can we allow ourselves some self-love and self-compassion, and just fucking breathe?!
Psst, this breath work is also a foundation of meditation and yoga. Wait a sec, don’t go running away! This is way more than froo-froo, fluffy woo-woo bullshit. This is actually super helpful.
Okay, so…science? FINE. 😉
Brain science. Dude. That’s hot.
Breathing stimulates the Vagus nerve and the parasympathetic nervous system. When we take deep breaths and focus our minds on that breath (remember, our brains cannot compute two thoughts simultaneously, which means we can’t freak out and focus on our breath at the same time), we’ll discover that we actually calm down. It’s really that simple.
What do I know about this? Breathing saved my life. Seriously.
When I was hit by a truck, I practiced deep breathing and it kept me calm, and that in turn kept my neck from snapping like a twig. I saw the truck coming and there was nothing I could do about it. I took my hands off the wheel, prayed, and took deep breaths. My doctors couldn’t believe it; they mentioned that the only people who survive wrecks like that are either drunk or asleep. I was neither, but I was in the same calm state of mind as sleepers and inebriated folks are. I was just okay with it.
I’ve had anxiety for a long while. Post-trauma will do that. Panic attacks had been part of my life for years. However, I haven’t had a panic attack in over a year, and that is wholly attributed to learning to calm down by breathing. I don’t sit in orange or maroon robes with a shaved head in the mountains of Asia, and I don’t stop, drop and yoga. I breathe. It has saved my life.
What breathing also does is stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
Here, this one’s a bit cuter 🙂
Let’s think for a moment about the leading causes of death in the United States. They’re preventative. Which means we can actually DO something about them.
Awareness is huge. It’s key. The only way we can ever improve is by first being aware of the thing that needs improving. If we stress, if we’re in pain, and if we want things to get better, first we have to just be aware of how they actually are. Not how we want them to be, now how they should be, but how they really are. It’ll get better.
We may not be able to control what happens outside of us, but we can control what’s going on inside of us.
Just breathe ♥
This is fantastic for creating energy, busting stress, and managing pain.
The best part? We’re already doing it. So, let’s do it a bit better 😉
With calming peace, breath, love and light,
– Smash ♥