Breathe Easy

take a deep breath

I don’t know if it’s the steriods I’m on that’s making me feel like this, but I can’t stop thinking about all I have to do. Life, in general right now, is busy. Work’s picking up, I have personal obligations that I need to complete, I’m trying to take my first online class on Coursera, there are trips I need to research and schedule (which is fun but takes a lot of time!), I want to read this, write that, schedule this, plan that, prepare for this or that. All of a sudden there seems like a pile of tasks to check off the list. So today, this motivational Monday is just as much as it is for me as it is for all of you. I need to remember to breathe. The tasks will slowly come off the list– and if some have to get postponed, that’s okay. Today, I need to remember to BREATHE. To inhale all the good that’s in my life, take a big beautiful breath of positive energy, close my eyes and see the light and exhale any negative thoughts or feelings that don’t serve me well.

There are so many benefits to deep breathing — beyond just helping to calm your mind, but physical benefits that can truly make a difference in your daily health.

Make sure you’re doing it correctly, however, to gain the best benefits. First inhale through your nose, expanding your belly and filling your chest. Count to 5. Hold and count to 3– feel all your cells filled with golden, healing, balancing Sun light & energy. Exhale fully from a slightly parted mouth and feel all your cells releasing waste and emptying old energy.

So trust in the fact that you’re where you need to be today, everything that is meant to happen is happening. Breath the certainty in and any worry out that you may have. Today is a good day.

Lots of love & light,

Jessy

For more information on the benefits of taking time to do some deep breathing, here’s a list of 18 physical benefits from the One Powerful Blog:

1. Breathing Detoxifies and Releases Toxins
Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. If you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly ridding your body of its toxins i.e. other systems in your body must work overtime which could eventually lead to illness. When you exhale air from your body you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.

2. Breathing Releases Tension
Think how your body feels when you are tense, angry, scared or stressed. It constricts. Your muscles get tight and your breathing becomes shallow. When your breathing is shallow you are not getting the amount of oxygen that your body needs.

3. Breathing Relaxes the Mind/Body and Brings Clarity
Oxygenation of the brain reducing excessive anxiety levels. Paying attention to your breathing. Breathe slowly, deeply and purposefully into your body. Notice any places that are tight and breathe into them. As you relax your body, you may find that the breathing brings clarity and insights to you as well.

4. Breathing Relieves Emotional Problems
Breathing will help clear uneasy feelings out of your body.

5. Breathing Relieves Pain.
You may not realize its connection to how you think, feel and experience life. For example, what happens to your breathing when you anticipate pain? You probably hold your breath. Yet studies show that breathing into your pain helps to ease it.

6. Breathing Massages Your Organs
The movements of the diaphragm during the deep breathing exercise massages the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. The upper movement of the diaphragm also massages the heart. When you inhale air your diaphragm descends and your abdomen will expand. By this action you, massage vital organs and improves circulation in them. Controlled breathing also strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.

7. Breathing Increases Muscle
Breathing is the oxygenation process to all of the cells in your body. With the supply of oxygen to the brain this increases the muscles in your body.

8. Breathing Strengthens the Immune System
Oxygen travels through your bloodstream by attaching to haemoglobin in your red blood cells. This in turn then enriches your body to metabolise nutrients and vitamins.

9. Breathing Improves Posture
Good breathing techniques over a sustained period of time will encourage good posture. Bad body posture will result of incorrect breathing so this is such an important process by getting your posture right from early on you will see great benefits.

10. Breathing Improves Quality of the Blood
Deep breathing removes all the carbon-dioxide and increases oxygen in the blood and thus increases blood quality.

11. Breathing Increases Digestion and Assimilation of food
The digestive organs such as the stomach receive more oxygen, and hence operates more efficiently. The digestion is further enhanced by the fact that the food is oxygenated more.

12. Breathing Improves the Nervous System
The brain, spinal cord and nerves receive increased oxygenation and are more nourished. This improves the health of the whole body, since the nervous system communicates to all parts of the body.

13. Breathing Strengthen the Lungs
As you breathe deeply the lung become healthy and powerful, a good insurance against respiratory problems.

14. Proper Breathing makes the Heart Stronger.
Breathing exercises reduce the workload on the heart in two ways. Firstly, deep breathing leads to more efficient lungs, which means more oxygen, is brought into contact with blood sent to the lungs by the heart. So, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver oxygen to the tissues. Secondly, deep breathing leads to a greater pressure differential in the lungs, which leads to an increase in the circulation, thus resting the heart a little.

15. Proper Breathing assists in Weight Control.

If you are overweight, the extra oxygen burns up the excess fat more efficiently. If you are underweight, the extra oxygen feeds the starving tissues and glands.
16. Breathing Boosts Energy levels and Improves Stamina

17. Breathing Improves Cellular Regeneration

18. Breathing Elevates Moods
Breathing increase pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical pain – See more at: http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2010/10/18-benefits-of-deep-breathing-and-how.html#sthash.yKZxzcMv.dpuf

Own Your Story 

  
I didn’t do a motivational Monday post last week because I couldn’t find anything fitting. Lately I’ve been feeling anxious. Feeling overwhelmed knowing that the end is FINALLY in sight. How if it’s not all I have dreamed it would be? How if it’s not really the end of my road with leukemia? I had spent the previous Wednesday, in a private infusion room because I needed to be alone. Because I couldn’t stop randomly crying. I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before thinking about all those what ifs. Those thoughts then lingered in my head throughout the morning and shoved me into a downward spiral to negative thoughts and depressing feelings.

 It took me three full days to get out of the slump. I took a lot of licks from Phoebe and hugs from Mike. Words of encouragement from my family. And advice/love from my incredible team of nurses. I needed everyone’s support. This time, I couldn’t do it by myself. 

So last Sunday night when I went to find a motivational Monday post, I just couldn’t do it. I felt like too much of a fraud to try to be motivating when I had been unable to motivate myself in the days prior. So today’s post is about being true to yourself, being true to your story. We all have our moments of strength which are great to embrace but we also all have moments of weakness, whatever that may be. And that’s okay. We can’t always be strong. We can’t always have a smile on our face. We’re allowed to have a bad day. Or two, or three. Or however many it takes to get your mind right. 

So while I certainly don’t wish bad days upon any of you, I also understand the realities of life and that it’s bound to happen. So my hope is that you can embrace those days or moments and allow yourself to try to really feel your feelings. Allow yourself moments of weakness and love yourself anyways.

This was my story last week and I know I will continue to struggle with this far past March 26th but I’m going to try to learn to embrace it a little more and love myself through the moments of weakness.
Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

P.S. Belated Merry Christmas to all my readers. I had a wonderful few days with Mike’s family, my family and then a day at home in our pjs with our little family! I hope your day was wonderful! I’m going to post pics later this week! 🙂

Feeling Anxious

Remember when I said “anxiety leading up to a challenge is more than half the battle”? Definitely true but definitely easier to talk about than put into action. Just how do you you go about conquering that anxiety? How do you go about taking control of your mind when something has you worried? That’s an answer I just don’t have right now. And as of right now, anxiety has struck.

Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow I go for my first “outpatient” procedure at the Dana Farber Institute to have tests done that will determine if chemo is working properly and I can be considered in “remission.” At that point, I will get a more detailed plan of what my next two years will look like. That will be determined by having bone marrow pulled – a procedure I’ve unfortunately already had done and therefore already know, to be frank, how much it REALLY sucks. And so I’m anxious. Anxious about the physical pain. More anxious about the results. And although I know that getting myself worked up about it isn’t going to help make tomorrow any easier, it’s really hard to control these feelings. So for this battle, I really am hoping that anxiety is truly more than half of it…because that, my friend, means I’m already headfirst into the fight.    

I’ve gotten through it before and I can get through it again. That much I know and that much I will continue to tell myself until this time tomorrow night. Because tomorrow night at this time, I will be back home, on my comfy couch, with the love of my life sitting next to me, eating a bowl of ice cream that I wish could turn into a glass of red. 

XOXO,

Jessy