Remember that song several years ago that had the lyrics “breathe….just breathe”? A girl had called her friend wrapped up in some sort of drama and anxiety and the friend begins telling her to “breathe…just breathe”. Such simple advice but really so true. Calm down, take a breath and realize that you are still alive, life will go on. This too shall pass.
When I was a child, just driving by a wheat field during harvest season could trigger an asthma attack. If my friends and I would run outside in the night air and play on a haystack it wouldn’t be long before I would begin wheezing and gasping for air. At a young age I learned that you had to work with these episodes and not against them. In other words, the more you panicked because of the lack of oxygen, the harder time you were going to have in getting some. Panic and anxiety only increased the breathing problem. The best help of all was to stay calm and focus on air in, air out, keeping it up until meds arrived in the form of the nasty yellow stuff or a shot from the hospital. Sometimes I could just ride it out and it would take care of itself.
This same lesson applied well when at age seven I slipped off of a mossy dam and shot into the middle of a lake. I wasn’t a good swimmer but I remembered my mother telling me that if you panic in water there is a good chance you might drown. I stayed afloat by calming myself treading water until my parents could retrieve me. Breathe….just breathe.
No need to dwell on where the focus is with a mother in labor. Five times I learned and worked with the Lamaze method of breathe…just breathe. When everything inside your body was in panic mode and the pain was overwhelming, the breathing helped you focus on the fact that you weren’t dying, everything is under control.
This calmness that comes from simply putting your focus on breathing and not panicking reminds me of one of my favorite verses found in Philippians 4:6,7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
What a great thought, to give all of our anxiety to the one who gives us breath. The giver of life has everything under control, we have nothing to be anxious about when we know the one who hears our prayers and can give us peace. So breathe…just breathe…