My Mother Path

My path through discovering myself as a mother, teacher and self.

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Just Breathe

"Just breathe"

Such a simple statement. A reminder to just breathe. Why do we say that? Does it really help?

Some would say that it does and some would say that it doesn’t. Have you ever tried it….I mean seriously tried it?

Ok, so maybe you don’t need to breathe to calm down, maybe you are calm so therefore you don’t need to follow the reminder of “just breathe.” But what if you are an empath or a medium, or both? What if you just don’t “do” calm?

Well, in any energy work you will need to breathe. We learn this in Reiki, Yoga, meditation, prayer and in such things as rituals and spell work. It’s also valuable for pain management and techniques used to refocus your mind in stressful situations – especially if you are someone who suffers with anxiety disorders, PTSD, Bi-polar, I believe you get where I’m going with all this…..we still learn to “just breathe” but how we are taught may be slightly different. 

Through this, do we ever wonder if there truly is validity in this practice? Besides someone teaching us to breathe, is there a logical reason? It’s not like when your parents told you “just because I said so,” there really is a reason why people tell you to “just breathe,” yet even the people giving the instructions may not understand how this works.

So, here is the fact, the actual medical reason why taking a deep breath or two actually works. When we take a deep breath inward and fill our lungs and as we then exhale we activate the vagus nerve. What’s a vagus nerve you ask, well, this nerve runs from the neck to the abdomen and has two bundles of branching sensory nerve cell bodies that connect the brainstem to the body. 

As we perform the deep breathing exercises we are activating the vagus nerve and this turns off our “fright or flight” reflex as well as reduces our heart rate and blood pressure. During the inhalation, the sensory nodes on our lungs send information through the vagus nerve and into the brain. As we breathe out information from the brain is sent back down through the vagus nerve to the sensory nerves and reflexes to calm and relax. 

Best way to think of this, “breathe in to the brain, breathe out to the body.” It is suggested that the best way to breathe is to a breath cycle of breathing in to a count of 5 and breathing out to a count of 5, aiming for six of these cycles in a minute. As I stated before, we learn different methods of deep breathing and I believe that most will teach the five count method. Remember when you were a kid and your mom would get frustrated with you, “I’m going to count to 10….” Maybe she was on to something, some internal “mom” knowledge that we need to look into.

The key is in the exhale as this is what triggers the relaxation responses. The heart rate will speed up on the inhalation and slow down during the exhalation. As we breathe deeper and more focused, we are able to take control over our heart rate and slow it down. 

As an empath, this is important in helping me to re-center or as an empathic medium, to stretch my senses outward to clarify a message, vision or sense that I am receiving. This breathing technique helps me in that if I am at a funeral for example, I am in the midst of a lot of high emotions. This can be very over bearing and distracting to the point that I can feel as though I have lost my own emotions by taking on all the emotions around me. By taking a minute to breathe, even very subtly, helps me to re-center and find myself again. That’s the nice thing about breathing techniques, they can be subtle. You don’t have to go into meditation pose, lose focus or let your eyes roll back in your head, and you don’t have to make loud breathing noises as you inhale and exhale. As well, you can count in your head. 

But as an empathic medium, I may focus more on my exhale, I may look down towards the ground so things around me do not distract me. As I am exhaling, I am focusing on sending “feelers” out around me in all directions in an attempt to strengthen my sense of what is around. I may also be trying to pick up on something in particular. Maybe I’m out on a paranormal investigation and I’m trying to connect with the spirits and focus on a message they may have or the story they want to tell. Breathing helps, calming the heart beat and my emotions. 

For me, my internal ear gets clogged on the inhalation as that is what seems louder to me. But the exhalation is peaceful and quiet and feels slightly slower. Makes sense to me, we inhale all the messages we want our brain to figure out, it’s loud and a mess. In the second pause that we give our brain to decipher these messages, it does and during the exhalation it says “keep calm, I’ve got this.”

So the next time you feel stressed or as though the emotions of those around you are overwhelming, just breathe, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…


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Tagged in: breath empath Meditation
I am a wife and mother of three children, a Reiki Master Teacher, a Belly Dance Instructor as well as a very curious creature.


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