Do you ever take a moment to notice yourself breathing?
It happens on the spur of the moment, so randomly, and even pleasantly. I’d take notice of my own breathing. Right now, for example. Inhale. Type. Exhale. Think. Repeat. And I can’t fathom that I do this all. the. time.
When it happens, all my focus shifts to that little phenomenon, as if I was witnessing a true natural anomaly. No matter how hard I try, I can never move my attention away from it, and everything I attempt to do to distract myself from this weird mantra fails to work. I always end up going back to thinking about breathing. And I always end up forgetting about it after all, one way or another, as with virtually all other things in life.
I suppose that goes to prove that our minds truly have no guidelines. You can not force yourself to not think about something – at the end of the day, trying not to think about a thing still puts that specific thing in the limelight. It’s a simple, well known fact, yet that doesn’t stop us from always trying to steer our thoughts to or away from a certain thing, because really, what else can we attempt to do?
Breathing is just one of our core essentials. It’s not a sense, that some people might miss, but still lead somewhat normal lives. You don’t breathe, you don’t live. Period.
And goodness, how it feels good under the right circumstances. As with all things in life, you never notice what you have until you don’t.
Don’t you just miss breathing when you’re underwater for too long? When you press your nose against a pillow? When you have a cold and your airways are ridden with obstructions? When you have to endure a trip to a public bathroom? When you’re stuck in the smoker’s section of a restaurant? When that moment comes, at last, to deeply inhale…
And can we just talk about breathing fresh air? This does not get as much recognition as it should. It’s often casually thrown into conversations, meaning that something is a welcome change of pace, or that someone is having time off. But just how satisfying is it to open the window of a musky room, stick your nose outside and just breathe? It’s a feeling of which I have a hard time pinpointing the origin. Is it the nose? The lungs? And if so, how can I feel my lungs? Is it my entire body? Cold, crispy, oxygen-rich air just feels so good. I have lived in a countryside village for a quarter of my life, and the difference is striking.
Fresh air has become a luxury.