“Breathe like a turtle,” said Dr. Suresh, my Ayurvedic doctor.

He then mentioned the way some animals breathe: a dog (+24 breaths/minute), a bear (+15 breaths/minute), a turtle (4 breaths/minute).

“Animals that breathe slower live longer,” he said.

Thus, the turtle breath.

***

I know that breathing correctly and mindfully has a vital role in our wellbeing. We can clearly notice how we breathe when we’re angry, tired, anxious, rushing–and how they differ from how we breathe when we’re relaxed, calm, and slowing down.

I learned a few years ago that if you don’t know how to change your mood, change the way you breathe.

If you’d like to feel a bit calmer, breathe the way you breathe when you have just arrived in a beautiful, pristine place, and about to relax while admiring the gorgeous view. Or breathe following the rhythm of the ups and downs of a cat’s (or a baby’s) belly when it’s soundly sleeping.

Writing on my journal, decorating it, and flipping the pages unhurriedly in the morning helps me to breathe slower. Noticing the way I breathe throughout the day also helps me to know my mental state at a particular moment, and give me the opportunity to consciously ‘breathe’ a better mental state.

***

How do you breathe today? 🙂

PS: Oh, there’s also this beautiful app called Tide I installed on my phone as it has some guided breathing exercise.

hanny

If you made it this, far, please say 'hi'. It really means a lot to me! :)

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Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash
In the end, self-care is not always about doing the things that make us feel good or give us instant gratification. It's also about doing the RIGHT thing: something that is good for us in the long run—even if it may feel hard at times.
Hanny illustrator
Hi. I'm HANNY
I am an Indonesian writer and an artist/illustrator based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.

hanny

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