Friday, November 4, 2011

Smell imaginary flowers

When people hear "stop and smell the roses" they think of thorns, and ownership, and the cost of the roses, and whether they require more water than xeriscaping would. That's why deep breathing helps. It makes brains slow down. Although it's usually dolled up as formal meditation or chanting or yoga (which has other benefits, certainly, but for my current argument, the breathing...)... what it immediately does is slow the heart which stills the brain. And then thoughts can step gently and slowly around, instead of trying to jump on the speeding train of brains going the speed of people who are thinking of cost and future and past and promotion and danger and they're breathing fast, fast, fast. And shallow, shallow, shallow.

Deep breaths change everything, for a few moments.

Shallow breathing maintains a state. If you're angry or afraid and you breathe shallowly, you stay that way.
If you're calm (as in a meditative state) then breathing shallowly maintains it, once you've gotten there.
photo by Sandra Dodd, in the village of Tissington

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