It's Time to Smell the Roses
Feeling anxious? Stressed? Pain? Headache? Sick?
Whenever I have an uncomfortable sensation in my body, or an awareness of mental strain, I remind myself to "smell the roses."
"Smell the roses" is my way of referring to taking a few slow, deep breaths to increase oxygen flow to my brain and other parts of my body. A few intentional breaths can
create immediate relief for pain,
instantly release tension,
facilitate stress reduction,
provide a "time out" before impulsive reactions,
re-invigorate lethargy and fatigue,
improve clarity of mind,
center mind and body,
and offer a moment of connection with God.
Those are some impressive results for about a minute of deep breathing, aren't they? And those are just the one's I've experience myself. I'm sure there is scientific evidence for other benefits of deep breathing.
What Are Calming Breaths?
Calming breaths consist of two steps: inhale and exhale. Or as I prefer to think of it: smell the roses and blow out the candles.
Smell the Roses
Inhale a deep breath through your nose as if smelling a rose.
Blow Out the Candles
Exhale completely through your mouth as if blowing out candles. Apparently, exhaling through your mouth allows your body to release more carbon dioxide (toxins) than exhaling through the nose. This extra release of toxins, allows more room for oxygen on the next breath.
Complete at Least Three Times
Slowly inhale and exhale at least three times. Take as long as you need. Sometimes for pain relief or easing headache or nausea, it may take a little more time of intentional breathing.
You'll be surprised at how much better you feel. Make a habit of pausing to smell the roses several times a day, and definitely whenever you need immediate relief for your physical or mental health.
Add a Spiritual Element to Breathing
For additional impact, you might try saying a simple prayer or reciting a biblical affirmation on the inhale and exhale portions. For example, you might pray, (inhale) "Thank you, Lord, that you are with me," (exhale) "My life and health are in your hands."
Or you might do a similar routine with a biblical affirmation you're focusing on in your life. Check out these examples of biblical affirmations for anxiety.