October 22, 2012
When Tyler Durdin (played by Brad Pitt) meets Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club for the first time, they talk about plane crashes and discuss why oxygen masks fall from the roof during a catastrophe. Tyler says:
Oxygen gets you high. In a catastrophic emergency, we’re taking giant, panicked breaths…suddenly you become euphoric, docile, you accept your fate.
Airlines tell you to inhale deeply if the masks drop because a calm passenger has a much greater chance of survival.
Oxygen naturally calms us down.
When I feel my thoughts whizzing by at high speeds, I have difficulty finding my focus. I pause once I observe the behavior.
I take four deep breaths. In and out. In with the fresh healing air, and out with all the stifling negative energy.
When I take a deep breath though the nose, I can feel cooler blood flowing in to my brain. I also feel that more oxygen is coming in to my bloodstream, and a rejuvenating feeling washes over my entire being.
I become present. The world slows down, I am grateful for my shoes. I appreciate the smell of the wind. I am present.
Whatever thought was passing through my mind is NOW one with this moment.
When we focus on the breath, the energy and power of the mind dissolve into body awareness. Leo Babuta of Zen habits describes this feeling beautifully in his blog post Breathe.
Breathing can transform your life.
If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions.
If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.
If you are discouraged and have forgotten your purpose in life, breathe. It will remind you about how precious life is, and that each breath in this life is a gift you need to appreciate. Make the most of this gift.
If you have too many tasks to do, or are scattered during your workday, breathe. It will help bring you into focus, to concentrate on the most important task you need to be focusing on right now.
Lee’s Breathing Exercise:
Here is an exercise I use multiple times a day to refocus.
- Take a deep breath in through the nose, taking four seconds to inhale. Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
- Hold the breath for two seconds, allowing the lung tissue to fully absorb all the oxygen from the air.
- Exhale for two seconds through the mouth, feel the warm stress-soaked air leave your body.
- Feel rejuvenated while connecting with your body’s most core life-giving process.
Heal yourself by repeating at least four times.