Day 406: Random thoughts about breathing

I seem to be in a constant state of surprise, at this point in my blogging journey, about things I haven’t done so far. For example, I have yet to write a post with the word “Breathing” (or variations thereof, like “breath” or “breathe”) in the title.

Well, let’s fix that, right now, with some righteous randomness!

Warning: this post is likely to be even more random than my usual random writings, since I SHOULD be preparing for my trip to Panama tomorrow. So I’m a little distracted, right now.

But if I let go of the SHOULD in the previous paragraph, I can focus enough on the task at hand, which is:

Random Thoughts About Breathing

When you have a cold (as I  do, right now), breathing is affected.

I just searched on “breathing common cold,” and found this image:


(this image lives here, a site that has some interesting info about colds, which affected my breakfast choices this morning)

…. and this quote, from MedLinePlus (from the U.S. National Library of Medicine1):

Common cold

The common cold usually causes a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms.


It is called the “common cold” for good reason. There are over one billion colds in the United States each year. You and your children will probably have more colds than any other type of illness.

Colds are the most common reason that children miss school and parents miss work. Parents often get colds from their children.

That quote caught my eye because my soon-to-be-16-year-old son had this cold first, and the evidence is that I DID catch my cold from him.

My son missed a day of school, last week, because of this cold.

This morning, as I was thinking about possible post topics for today, my son came into Blogging Central2 to say goodbye, before he left for school. We chatted a little, but mostly we made a variety of noises and expressions, indicating that neither of us was exactly bursting with enthusiasm for the (Mon)day ahead.

I said to him, “Remember to breathe.”  (I said that partly because I was already playing with the idea of this Post Topic Du Jour, in my head.3)

Perhaps because the clock indicated that he had to leave then (or be late for school), my son replied, “I don’t have TIME to breathe.”

I said, “Yes, you do. You can actually breathe on the walk to school, too.”

Which leads me to another random point, about breathing:

Isn’t it weird that we need to remind ourselves — and others — to breathe?  Isn’t that something we were born knowing how to do?

As a therapist, I always feel a little strange reminding somebody to breathe, although I know that’s often helpful. I wouldn’t be surprised, if some day, somebody says to me (with anger, annoyance, feeling misunderstood, or hurt feelings):

I KNOW how to BREATHE, Ann.  I’m not stupid, you know.

That doesn’t stop me from saying “Breathe,” though, just as it didn’t stop me with my son, this morning.  Because I know the reminder can help.

Last week, where I work, somebody who had done a fine, brief piece of therapy was saying “Goodbye.” This person chose to end therapy by talking about different things she noticed in my office, including a post-it note, very much like this one:


… although the post-it note in my office is (a) not quite as colorful and (b) in a more subtle location.

By the way, that photo, above, first appeared in my Christmas Eve, 2013 post, titled Day 358: Pressure.  Pressure makes it difficult to breathe.

Also, concerns about doing a good-enough post, especially on a day when you SHOULD be preparing for a big trip tomorrow, can affect your breathing, too.

So what’s the best cure for that, right now?

Why, ending this post, letting go of anything that might get in the way of my moving on to next steps.


Thanks to everybody, everywhere, who is able to read and breathe at the same time — including you, of course.

1  Maybe I’ll visit The U.S. National Library of Medicine on a future vacation. Or maybe not.

2 Blogging Central = The Kitchen

3  Among the random thoughts I was having and could have included in this post: (a) how Shortness of Breath, in medical records, is abbreviated to SOB, (b) how anxiety/fear/worry can affect breathing, (c) how I’ve been a little worried about how I’m going to blog and post photos while I’m away in Panama, and (d) there were other thoughts I had, for sure, but I can’t access them right now, and … it’s Post Closing Time!

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Day 406: Random thoughts about breathing

  1. When anyone gets flustered, upset, harried or just generally overwhelmed, the first thing I say to them is BREATHE! It really is an act of deep breaths to refocus and slow down. We all need to do that from time to time,

  2. Whenever my daughters and I chat about things that are happening and causing them stress, I always suggest — Breathe. I’d start with breathing and go from there. 🙂

    It’s such a simple thing — but true. Breathing makes it easier to deal with whatever has to be dealt with. 🙂

    • Helpful and true, as always, Louise. As you suggest, I’m taking a breath …. and I’m off to Do Those Things I Gotta Do Today.

  3. Love this: “Blogging Central = The Kitchen”

  4. Back in my college days, Ann, I took a course titled “Controlling Stress and Tension.” It seemed from the catalog that it might be immediately helpful in the harried university environment. It was a corker. The lectures always got back to how deep breathing can calm the mind and body down. One test, they hooked me up to meters and gadgets to measure blood pressure and such and made you watch films of ghastly industrial accents. And you had to get everything to normal. I breathed deeply, repeatedly. I passed. But I did not have a common cold that day. Get well and have fun on the big trip, Ann.

    • I’m glad I didn’t take that course, Mark. I probably would still be seeing those films in my mind. Instead, I get to be calmed — not only by deep breathing — but also by this comment. Thank you kindly.

  5. Have a safe and fun trip.

  6. AHA!! NOW i see where i add a comment! I’m figuring my way around this site, a little. Anyway, I wish you a fine journey and a fun one, as well! love you!

    • I guess it’s not immediately obvious, with this blog, how to do comments. I think you need to click on the place that says how many comments there are. Anyway, great to see you here! Love you, too.

  7. I needed this tonight. Monday’s are the night in which I try to cram a weeks worth of schoolwork into a few hours. I am now on my 2nd glass of wine. Perhaps I ought to try breathing along with the imbibing.

  8. Thank you for the reminder – I often catch myself holding my breath for no good reason. No wonder my poor body gets so anxious, it must think it’s about to suffocate!

  9. It’s the quality of breathe we need to be reminded of…deep, mindful, cleansing! I’m always amazed at how you “seem” to just throw these posts together hap-hazard, but they are really well thought out and inspiring! Thanks again

  10. Pingback: Day 658: Missing and Coming Back | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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