Updated: Jul 14, 2022
My body breathes on its own. There are times when I can take over the reins and tell it exactly how to do what it’s doing, but at the end of the day, it will pick back up where it left off, as if to say, “Thank you for your time, you done now?”
It’s funny to me to view this relationship as one in which I can make more work for myself. My body will literally complete the task, but I say, “No! I can do this better! You are too shallow, too fast, you’re using the wrong muscles…” which may in fact be true. I’m a PT, I witness people in pain all the time who do not use their breathing to their benefit and often can cause further problem, pain or injury in the way they use their breath. I’m not saying that breathwork has no merit, but I think that it is something that we have overcomplicated. We are trying to fix the problem of shallow breathing with the solution of pursed lip breathing, counting our breathes, and other management techniques.
But I ask you, what is leading your body to switch gears to such rapid, shallow breathing when normally, it functions just fine! I would posit that it is the thought in your head about the reality of a situation presented to you. The thought in your head that is rooted in untruth or fear or the unknowable unknown…When you do this, you are living in the past or the future - you are not present. Our souls and, I would argue our bodies, were created to be eternally present with God who is simplicity and presence itself. Our bodies therefore do not function well or correctly when our mind, that part of our soul that thinks, judges and chooses, is not rooted in the present and our bodies move into dysfunction.
Now the calming strategies are helpful and can be somewhat effective when we have lost our sense of presence and have sunk into autonomic warfare, but here’s the thing - for someone who is perpetually present, for someone who is rooted and grounded in God as love and goodness, in themselves as loved and good, and in others as good and worthy of love, there is much less to fear and it is fear and worry that dysregulate our breathing.
So what contributes to fear and worry? Our thoughts, people. It is a sentence in our mind that causes our bodies to become dysfunctional. It’s been said that the degree to which our perception of reality is congruent with reality is the degree to which we are mentally well. I don’t know about you, but I want to be well, and from what we have learned here, we can work our way toward that by forming our minds to identify with reality and stay in the present moment without ceding to worry or anxiety. So by harnessing the way our minds work to perceive information and form thoughts, we can be more mentally well.
This is what coaching can offer you! So I ask you, do you want to be well? Let’s go.
**I am a Professionally trained Catholic Mindset Coach through Metanoia Catholic. I love to work with Catholic women or any woman open to processing their thoughts and emotions through a Catholic world view.
**Check out my personal blog, Grateful Blessed Mess, at gratefulblessedmess.com to get to know me better! Don't hesitate to reach out. I'd love to hear from you if anything has spoken to your heart or you have any questions in general about Catholic Mindset Coaching.