Once again, I find myself writing the words

keep breathing, keep going

in a comment to another friend’s status update on Facebook.

This time, it was an unexpected job loss.

A week ago, the loss of a parent to cancer.

Shortly before that, the down-cycle of a manic depressive episode.

keep breathing, keep going

Our body lets us know when it is fearful, when we are lost in anxiety, and one of the earliest signs – possibly even the first – is our instinct to breathe quietly, or even to stop breathing at all. When the shock hits, or the anxiety floods us, our diaphragm lifts, and we take only tiny sips of air.

I know this, and experience it regularly, like last night after an unnecessary, petty argument where I let myself down and lashed out verbally.

In the immediate aftermath, I caught myself silencing my breath, using only the very top of my lungs.

keep breathing, keep going

I started breathing, deeper into the knowledge that I had to apologize and also confront the source of my lashing out.

keep breathing, keep going

Notice the symptom

[keep breathing]

confront the source

[keep going]

Where is your breathing right now? Upper chest? Into your heart? Deep down in your belly? As you focus on it, what comes to mind? What is your subconscious telling you?

Try this: breathe fast and shallow, only little sips of air into the very top of your chest – you’re hiding, panicking, trying to remain silent – put your hand on the top of your breastbone as you do this, feel the fluttering of the breath, feel your heart beginning to race deeper in your chest, hear the breath sticking in your throat.

What comes to mind? What is your subconscious telling you?

keep breathing, keep going

What is the source of your panic? How can I help you keep going? Make the call.

Schedule and introductory call