We take needed breathes out of habit. But with a little will, we can choose to inhale, hold, and then exhale. OR exhale all air out, hold as long as possible, and then inhale when needed. And vise a versa. Breathing happens automatically, but we can introduce the mental facility into the action, take control, and shift breathing patterns and capacity with will power, rewiring breathing habits.
There’s a slight space between “needing” the breath and “taking the breath” where we have the choice to either continue holding, or taking the actual breath. This moment between “impulse” and “action” lies in all aspects of life.
We often meander around life aimlessly, taking action out of habit. But if we put some attention to our actions and pay close attention to the impulse before we act, it opens space to discern between a pure, spontaneous reaction and action, vs. a mere robotic action coming out of our own habit. If your actions keep getting you into trouble, perhaps you’re acting out of habit in a way that doesn’t best suit where you’d like to head in life. Hence, making the same mistake over and over again, and wondering why?
When things come at you, whatever the varying stimuli may be, take a moment to breathe, observe, and notice the impulse to react. Does the reactive impulse come from a free place, or does it spring from your chains of habit. Take a moment to realize whether or not the reaction will best suit you. Adjust accordingly, and take the time to act in a way that aligns with the ideal version of self.