I was laying in bed doing breathing exercises. In deep through the nose like smelling a flower
for a slow 3 count, feel the chest expand and the belly stretch out. Exhale with mild force through slightly pursed lips, like blowing bubbles,
feel the tensed torso relaxing as I mentally say “STILLNESS.”
I did this around 10 times (I don’t actually count) but when I was finished I couldn’t stop. In CRO terms, I couldn’t get my breathing to go back into auto. I couldn’t find the source of the manual reject, but when I stopped thinking about breathing… I stopped breathing. I decided to hold my breath, thinking that when I couldn’t hold it any longer and started gasping for air that surely reflex would take over. It didn’t work. I think I didn’t push it hard enough. Instead of holding my breath until reflex took over I only held my breath until it was really uncomfortable. So then I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, breathing, and thinking, and thinking about breathing.
I wondered how effectively I could divide my attention. Could I breath and carry a conversation? Could I breath and do math? Could I breath and walk and chew bubble gum? Was I perpetually multi-tasking with the associated loss of quality. Would I forever be one of those people who are driving and talking on their phone?
Eventually I fell asleep. When I woke up I was breathing normally and didn’t even remember it had been a problem until mid-morning.
Hazard of mindful breathing: Forgetting how to breath mindlessly.