You may suspect that I’m using the word “breathe” metaphorically, and if that's the case, you're only partly correct. I also mean it in the physical sense, and here's why.
Lately, I've been having some issues with breathing normally and it's been happening for the past two weeks. I don't know what my problem is, but sometimes I feel like I'm suffocating. One night I was panicking, shaking, and crying - I have no idea why, but it scared me. Well, for a minute. I fell back asleep pretty quickly as if nothing happened.
Today, I had a similar experience. I was sitting at my desk at work and I randomly began to struggle for air. I checked my heart rate and it was 108 which is faster than I'm comfortable with. Again, it went away after a while, but it's starting to get old. I'm not too concerned about my health, but it's definitely frustrating and has me thinking about breathing in a different way.
Let's assume something has you emotionally down, and you turn to a friend or loved one for comfort or advice. It's not too uncommon for that person to say something along these lines: "Just take a second and breathe."
It usually helps me because it keeps my mind off of whatever is bothering me. But, if you think about it, breathing isn't something we should have to choose to do. It should come naturally, and that's why we panic when it doesn't.
(That's where my fear of water comes from - I'm scared of suffocating.)
Back to the point.
Since rough times are guaranteed to come, I want to make sure breathing is a habit. Not only that, but I want to make sure the air I'm breathing is clean and good for me. I want the air to refresh me, keep me alive, and keep me healthy enough to move forward.
What "air" are you breathing when things get crazy? Is it a natural habit?
For me, it's worship. Just straight worship. I put on my worship playlist, lock myself in my room, get on my knees, picture the Father sitting on His throne, and I worship.
Breathing is something we do constantly, but we shouldn't have to think about it. And trust me, building that habit in some other sense might be difficult, but suffocating is a lot worse.