Most of the time we all breath without thinking. But sometimes I become aware that I am breathing and by becoming aware it’s no longer automatic.I have to make myself breath.It is terribly annoying. Once I become aware that I am breathing I long to find something to occupy my mind to take my attention away so that my breathing becomes automatic again.
Do any of you experience the same thing and understand what i’m talking about?
I know exactly what you mean. I’ve experienced this since I was a small child. Usually I stop thinking about it after a few minutes and my breathing goes back to normal. I probably do this to myself once or twice a month. A similar thing happens to me with eye blinking.
As a kid, I had asthma that was pretty serious. There were nights around 6th grade where I had two choices: cough myself to death or sit up and focus on controlling each and every breath. As soon as I started thinking about something else, the irritation and tightness would trigger coughing again. I went through a lot of sleepless nights until we figured out the right combination of things to control it.
As an adult, I can’t fall asleep if I have to breath through my mouth because it distracts me from falling asleep.
I posed a similar question a long time back. I was taking a yoga class and the instructor had us lie down and said, “OK, let’s count your breaths per minute, begin now.” And I couldn’t do it. As soon as someone told me to be aware of it, I immediately started to control my breathing rate, I still can’t do it.
This also reminds me of a Peanuts comic strip. Linus is talking to Lucy and says that he’s become “aware of his tongue.” Lucy looks at him like he’s nuts and he says “I suddenly realize I have a tongue and it’s sitting in my mouth and I wonder what my tongue would be doing if I wasn’t thinking about it.”
Or another similar thing is did you ever try to teach someone how to drive. Suddenly you have to explain step by step how to get into the car and position everything from your seat to the mirrors and such. It’s not till you try to teach someone do you realize how many automatic movements you make when you drive without even realizing you’re doing it.
I’m occasionally hyper-aware of my breathing, mostly because my sister has a thing against mouth and breathing noises. She hates it when people breathe heavily and, as the older sibling, made sure I got whapped over the head and humiliated frequently if I chewed or breathed too loud in her presence.
So now if my nose gets stuffy, I become increasingly disgusted by and nervous about how heavily I’m breathing. Being pregnant, my sinuses are a bit swollen and I breathe heavily quite a lot. It’s driving me nuts.
Interesting. Many people find that to work. My partner does Zen meditation and uses breath focus as an aid. She gets a lot out of it. Finds it very calming.
I am the dead opposite. I have tried to meditate and focus on my breath. I end up getting mentally frantic and feeling like I am alternatively suffocating or hyperventilating. It’s awful.
I also trained for years as a classical/opera singer. Focusing on my breathing inevitably lead me to increased tension and shorter breaths. I eventually found a teacher who ditched the whole breath support/control aspect. It made a significant difference for me. (For those who know about singing, it allowed me to sing those notoriously long, soaring phrases in pieces by Richard Strauss without problems – as soon as I stopped thinking about my breathing and focused on other things.)