Breeeeeeeeathe

The human body is a wonderful thing. Well it is when it works properly…

I don’t know the facts about how many breaths a human being takes on average per day, but I do know that for most of us it is something we do without even giving it a second thought.

There are times when I now have to consciously remind myself to breathe, or to breathe properly.

Correct breathing, in my opinion, is an essential tool needed to combat the awfulness of M.E. When a human being panics, one is found to be shallow breathing, but this isn’t helping at all. It increases the sense of panic and can exacerbate the problem. To regain control of the situation one has to ultimately override one’s brain. I have to do this a lot.

I find myself holding my breath when I am concentrating, or when my brain shuts down when I am crashing, or when my brain has decided it is under threat or in a stressful situation, or when I am nervous.

Imagine that?! Your brain being so broken that it forgets one of the very functions that keep it alive.

“Deep breaths” might sound straightforward but when your body is too weak to behave in ‘normal’ ways, it isn’t something that always comes naturally.

Correct breathing is the tool I use to help me get to sleep. It can be calming and relaxing and is something I’d never paid attention to before I was ill.

Mindfulness meditation has helped me and I sometimes do a mindfulness exercise during ‘purple time’ or when I am particularly poorly. For me, for the most part, it helps to relieve some of the awfulness. I also try to make sure I have at least one breath of fresh air everyday (even if it means sticking my head out of the window) in an attempt to blow the cobwebs away.

M.E takes over so much of my life but I have learnt, and am still learning, to get back some of the control. For the most part, I now have control over my breathing or can get the control back efficiently. I can now prevent the panic attacks (for the most part) that had become a regular occurrence due to ill health. I can now calm my brain down when it feels under threat due to internal or external factors. Yesterday I went into shock when something made me jump, but I was able to coax my brain into realising that everything was alright through the power of correct breathing.

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