Joy Journaling: Practice Exercise Three
Just Breathe – Sometimes when I heard the phrase “Just Breathe” I’d get annoyed. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and people telling me to “just breathe” made it worse. But, I came to realize that this was some of the simplest and best advice yet.
For starters, I want you to notice how you hold your breath – yes, literally. If you are like any other stressed out individual, you are holding your stomach tightly, mouth closed, lips pursed, and maybe even teeth clenched. You may even notice your shoulders up way too close to your ears. I first started to notice the habit of grinding my teeth in the middle of the night and even woke myself up on an occasion or two doing so.
I would hear this noise and wonder what the heck is that – only to discover it was me grinding away. I laugh now, but at the time it was actually painful.
It is in this awareness that you can achieve the most success. Once you start to notice how you hold your breath, you will be able – over time – to change that habit.
What does this have to do with journaling your way to joy? It is important to get into the proper mind frame before journaling so that your authenticity will shine through. The combination of saying a short prayer and breathing properly will release your mind so that thoughts will flow onto paper. The practice of a deep breath or two before journaling will release your soul and restore it to its original authenticity.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen 2:7)
The breath of life – how nice to know that breathing in and out fills you with the spirit of God and the breath of life. Don’t take breathing for granted – practice a deep breath before you sit down to journal and you are well on your way to joy!