May 22

Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

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“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius

Motivation Mondays: BREATHE
Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

Having good health, being able to breathe and be happy, that’s one of the most beautiful gifts. On top of that, I have the gift to play music and make people happy through that. I’m just telling you from my heart, I’m so in love with life. Roy Ayers
When you don’t feel healthy, stop the excuses and do something. Just go outside, walk, breathe. Life’s too short to fall into a rut. You are in charge of you – treat yourself well, and it’ll show. Jessica Stroup

Breathe! How often do you find yourself holding your breath? Why do you do that? I often wonder if it is instinctual or intentional because inhaling and exhaling deeply is called the breath of life for good reason. When we hold our breath in fear, anger or anxiety, we constrict our minds and bodies and that constriction suppresses the life force that fuels our creativity and clarity on this planet. Everything we do in life begins and ends with breath. We take our first breath at birth and our last gasp at death. When we are preparing to give birth, we learn about Lamaze or other breathing techniques to help ease the labor and delivery of our babies. When we prepare to give a speech or presentation, we turn to the Genard Method or a multitude of techniques that can help us deliver our message successfully. Yet, most of us take this precious and powerful part of our existence for granted.  If we take the time to pay attention to our breath, and learn a few simple deep breathing exercises to help us rejuvenate, restore and relax, we will see the benefits pretty quickly.

In yoga, deep breathing is an essential part of  the practice and is called Pranayama; a Sanskrit word. Prana means life force and ayama means extending or lengthening our breath. The very act of consciously working in concert with our breathing can help regulate our body and reduce stress.  Taking conscious, deep, steadying breaths will fill our lungs with not just precious air but can help us to collect and calm our thoughts. Most of us don’t realize that deep breathing is a conscious act. We breathe in a very shallow way and that isn’t enough to truly rejuvenate our bodies. When I first started taking yoga classes, eons ago, I learned a number of Pranayama/breathing techniques that seemed odd at the time yet, they were very powerful in helping me heal my body and steady my mind. Bhastrika or bellow breath was one, Bhramari or bee breath was another, Kapal Bhati was a third, and then there was the Nadi Shodhan breathing which was a bit more involved than the others. But, the best part is that they all rejuvenate the body and mind and can have an enormous calming effect that will leave us feeling balanced and well rested. That is why in any yoga class, breathing is practiced to help with deepening the postures and getting ready for meditation.
READ: NPR – Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever
A Story: The Power of Breath
The old master was meditating by the riverbank when a young student interrupted him. “Master, I wish to become your student,” said the man.
“Why?” asked the master.
The student thought for a moment. “Because I desire enlightenment.”
The old master leapt to his feet and grabbed the student’s robe. In a flash, the master plunged the student’s head into the river, waiting a full minute before throwing him, kicking and gasping, onto the riverbank.
“Now, tell me, what did you desire most when you were underwater?” he asked.
“Air!” gasped the student.
“Very well.” said the master. “Come back and see me when you want enlightenment as bad as you wanted air.”


“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Emma Lazarus

Motivation Mondays: BREATHE
Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

Thus one memory follows another until the waves dash together over our heads, and a deep sigh swells the breast, which warns us that we have forgotten to breathe in the midst of these pure thoughts. Max Muller
When you get into your car, shut the door and be there for just half a minute. Breathe, feel the energy inside your body, look around at the sky, the trees. The mind might tell you, ‘I don’t have time.’ But that’s the mind talking to you. Even the busiest person has time for 30 seconds of space. Eckhart Tolle


What can we do to experience the benefits of breathing fully and deeply? For starters, BREATHE! Taking a few deep breaths and modulating our breathing pattern can help us pull ourselves together;  STOP TALKING: One of the hardest things to do when we are feeling stressed is to stop talking a mile a minute about every possible minutiae that gets us feeling even more twisted;  STEP OUTSIDE: If you cannot do so, imagine yourself out of that space, and in a more open, welcoming, light filled space; Consider what you need to GAIN CLARITY;  Remind yourself to BELIEVE there is a solution for whatever is stressing you out;  If possible, DELEGATE, delegate, delegate the task to someone more able; Finally, BE SILENT for a while: We often forget the power of silence to help us regain control in stressful situations. Not only is silence a powerful tool that helps us pull ourselves and our thoughts together, it gives us enough space to relax and re-center, and with that comes greater clarity.

Now, go back to Step 1 – BREATHE! Often, we forget that one of the fastest ways to de-stress is to focus on our breath and slow down. Before you rush off to conquer the world, take a moment to pull yourself together by practicing some simple breathing exercises. You can take long, deep breaths standing up or seated comfortably. Un-clench your fists, close your eyes, and imagine a peaceful setting with beautiful lighting and a flowing stream. Stay there a little while and breathe…
READ: One Man’s Story: The Power of Transformational Breath by Robin Denman


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for March/April 2017 are:



04/03 –    6 International Day of Sport, 7 World Health Day
04/10 –    9 Palm Sunday, 11 Start of Passover, 14 Good Friday
04/17 –    16 Easter,  22 Earth Day,
04/24 –    24 Remembrance Day


05/01  – May Day, World Lyme Day, 02 National Teacher Day, 03 World Press Freedom, 04 National Day of Prayer,
05 Cinco De Mayo, 06 Kentucky Derby
05/14 –  14 Mothers Day, 20 Armed Forces Day
05/21 –  22 International Biological Diversity, 24 National Brother Day, 25 Ascension, 27 Ramadan starts
05/28 – 29 Memorial Day, 31 World No Tobacco Day



Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2017?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.


— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

More Below!

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”  Oprah Winfrey

Motivation Mondays: BREATHE
Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Then look at, or think of, the person triggering this emotion: With mindfulness, you can see that she is unhappy, that she is suffering. You can see her wrong perceptions. You can see that she is not beautiful when she says things that are unkind. Thich Nhat Hanh
You should breathe deeply and chant, ‘Money will easily and effortlessly flow into my life’ as often as you can every day. Things will start to change after a month. If you believe you will be financially secure, then you are opening yourself up to change. Louise L. Hay
Quite simply, if you’re feeling anxious, angry, a sense of shame, whatever it is, breathe in and agree to touch or feel it. Breathing out, offer space and care to whatever’s there. If there’s blocking to touching it, emphasize the in-breath and stay embodied. Tara Brach

What more do we need to remember about the power of breath? Whenever the conversation about breathing comes up, I am reminded of what we are told to do when we fly. The flight attendants always advice us that when/if the oxygen masks are required on a plane, we must put ours on first before we help anyone else including our children. If you don’t have breath in your body, you are useless to yourself and to others. When we take the time to ensure that we are taking good care of our lungs and breathing, we are able to be fully present in our relationships and help our loved ones. Other ways to fill our lungs with life giving oxygen rich air is to take brisk walks in nature. Walking is one of the safest forms of exercise and the best part is that you are in control of how fast and how long you want to walk. I find walking to be very meditative and I enjoy walking on the Aqueduct in the shade.  Whenever I take a walk, I feel my spirits lift and my breathing becomes steady and strong… Go do it!
READ: ZEN WISDOM – How Breathing Brings Us To The Present


Zen Stories from

Have a Happy, Healthy 2017!



Positive Motivation Tip: Breath begins and ends life. Cherish yours!

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos via Wikipedia  and/or BREATHE via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


#MotvnM, breath of life, breath work, breathe, Happiness, inspiration, life, love, Motivation, Motivation Mondays, motivational stories, positive attitude, postaday, Pranayama, success

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  • Such a great read! It’s so easy to get caught up in every day happenings, and long deep breaths always help me! It’s super important to remember that some deep breaths and practicing your breathing can help any situation.

  • I have been working on my breathing in the last few months and have definitely noticed an improvement in terms of my anxiety. Meditation and deep breathing are incredibly powerful!

  • Such a very inspiring quote. Indeed every day is a blessing. Be thankful that you were able to start a new day.

  • I am pretty sure if my husband was reading this he would totally want me to start with the stop talking suggestion! Lol! Seriously though these are great tips. I suffer from stress which leads to anxiety often. I need to remember these!

  • You have touched upon a very important and essential topic ‘Breathe’. I think entire Yoga is based on how we breathe and it’s quality..

  • Sometimes life just gets away from us. I have a sign in my living room reminding me to breathe.

  • Great Post! Thank you for reminding us that we should all take a breather and appreciate just for being alive. Thank you for your posting.

  • It’s so important to take a step back, reflect on life and just breathe. When life gets crazy I love doing light yoga and breathing meditations. It helps calm me down.

  • Fantastic post! Sometimes, it is when we stop and breathe that everything clears up. I remember hearing one of my former call center agent’s response to a customer when he was asked how he was doing that day. His response, “I’m breathing, I’m employed and I get paid of Friday. Everything’s good. All is good.” 🙂

  • I need to remind myself to breathe often! I am so very busy with the baby and everything!

  • We so often take this for granted, but because it is driven by our autonomous nervous system. To breathe is to bring in life. I think we must do more conscious breathing. It is going to benefit both our physical and mental health.

  • This is beautiful.I loved the little story on enlightenment. Breathing actually cures my sadness and my anger most of the time. Something so simple yet so powerful

  • You always have the best short stories with learned lessons. 🙂 I’ve started giving myself 5 minutes of breathing and quiet time away from everything. No screens, no music, no cell phone, just me, for five minutes. It gives me perspective that I was lacking getting lost in the daily routine.

  • I love this post! Sometimes I forget to step back and just breathe since my life is so hectic.

  • This was a very interesting read. A healthy life is so important to living happy.

  • I catch myself holding my breath all of the time when I’m concentrating on something. It’s a good reminder to breath through things!

  • I never take a minute to just breathe. I go go go and even hold my breathe often. I could prob get more peace and relaxation if I just took sometime to breathe. Thanks for sharing

  • It’s definitely important to take a moment to relax and breathe! It’s so easy to get stressed and overwhelmed these days.

  • This was very helpful and you’re right we forget sometimes. I might need to slow down and think once in a while to breathe and take things slow.

  • Breathing is so important! There’s so much we don’t know about the significance and power in our breaths. It’s truly wonderful!

  • I used to get stressed out easily. I still have my moments where I struggle but I’ve learned to breathe through my moments. Helps SO much.

  • I’m thankful for the air that I breathe. It’s so automatically embedded in us that one can take it for granted. When I have panic attacks, I got to remind myself to just breathe.

  • I remember hearing this segment on NPR about breathing and our bodies. They had THE MOST informative info…and so do you!

  • Breathing is a very good exercise for focus and relaxation. it is also a good way to detoxicate your thoughts and body. Love it

  • I read that most people use shallow breathing. The breath is very important. The more oxygen you have coming to the body, the better. Breathing better and more deeply has such great benefits.

  • Yes, sometimes taking a moment and just breathing is important. I know I have to do it every now and then or else I’ll go nuts.

  • I find that breathing correctly seems so simple, yet it is not. If we practiced correct breathing, it could make such a positive difference – something that many certainly do not give much attention to, so I think this post is a great way to encourage awareness.

  • I stayed in an ashram once, and we had an hour long class about breathing. I remember thinking it was so silly, but once I focused on my breath and listened to the instructor, I felt so different. It put me at ease and completely opened my mind. Learning to breath is so important.

  • None of us has the promise of the next breath. Therefore, I never take any breath for granted. Suffering with asthma and allergies as I do, breathing is never taken lightly and always appreciated.

  • I need to remember to breath and stop stressing. I stress over every little thing. So tiring sometimes. Great post.

  • Breathing helps to get me settled into myself. I mean, it brings me to the center. I need it to feel better when I’m having bad days. Or help me to have better days.

  • I find myself holding my breath a lot. I don’t even know that I am doing it.

  • Your motivatin mondays are the best! Breathe and let go, I love this quote. I know breathing exercises are very popular in India and I might try it too! Just let go!

  • Breathing is essential and proper/improper breathing affects so much of our daily existence.
    My abuser would often strangle me until I seized from oxygen deprivation, so I have a very special appreciation for breathing.
    I also use that drowning image as a good analogy for drug addiction; when you are truly addicted, the need becomes like the need for breath. So when people judge addicts, it’s kind of ridiculous! And very unfair.

  • Sometimes I find it hard to breathe and that is because of my anxiety. But like you said we need to stop talking and stay silent so we can breathe intentionally x

  • Breathing is such an important component of relaxation and mindfulness. We often take it for granted.

  • Taking time to breathe so affects our own state of mind as well as our physical health. That is so apparent from the number of meditation and exercise regimes that include a focus on breathing as a means of bettering yourself and your abilities. Really nice and relevant post to all of us.

  • I always need to remember to breathe when I get anxious about something, it’s the main way to calm myself!

  • What I love about this post is that there’s the reminder that when you aren’t “breathing” you also aren’t listening. So many people are thinking of what they are going to say rather than stopping and listening.

  • These quotes are very motivational. Being healthy, breathing and enjoying life is so important and we frequently take it for granted. Very nice post.

  • I’ve been trying to take more meaningful breaths. I’ve found that it helps me sleep better when I take a few deep breaths and try to slow down everything.

  • The first thing in the morning that we should be thank for! Breathe, we should be thankful from Above who let us wake up in the morning, breathing and healthy!

  • I know that someone told me that taking breaths was the first part of making sure that you were present. And there is a deep truth to that. It’s important to breathe to center ourselves for whatever we want to do.

  • Breathing is so important. I remember when I was in physical therapy I did some yoga and she was explaining to me how breathing through moves gets oxygen to parts of our body that need healing.

  • Taking time to relax and breathe is truly important to our health. If we cannot relax and calm down, take a second and breathe, then we will become overwhelmed with life and our daily responsibilities.

  • Thank you for the reminder to breathe. Oddly enough this is something everyone forgets to do.

  • Silence is such an important tool to help gather our thoughts and reflect. With so much technology and crazy to do lists, we are rarely ever in complete silence. We should sit in silence from time to time and just be with our thoughts.

  • i honestly need this now as I just sometimes feel burned out lately. With all the things that’s happening, we just sometimes remember to breathe.

    • Oh dear Gilly! I’m so sorry to hear about that…. My condolences and Hope you are doing a bit better.
      How can I be of help? Please let me know as I’ve been thinking of you. Blessings! <3

  • For one second, when I read this there was a sudden realization of how we miss things that are so important for our health.

  • I like this because it’s true. Give yourself time to breathe and just let go for a while, of everything that’s been bothering you. A walk outside might help as well. This is good for times wherein the stress is just eating you up.

  • Silence is truly powerful if you know how to use it. The world is too busy and noisy these days that we don’t know when we last breathed and remained silent.

  • I always woke up in the morning with a prayer and a positive thinking. So i can start my morning with a good one.

  • I definitely hold my breath when it comes to being worried sometimes, but it’s so important to relax and take deep breaths x

  • This is a great reminder to relax and breathe more often! I appreciate the reminder! Life can be so stressful sometimes.

  • You always have the best quotes. I think the first one is my favorite. Breathing is so important and I have been talking the last two years to learn how to slow down and enjoy life, it’s a wonderful experience.

  • Taking a moment to breathe is such a great reminder! My mind is always clearer when I take a step outside and take it all in.

  • This is great advice and it really helps for stress. You breathing helps relax and ease the stressful situation.

  • By taking a deep breathe it helps me to relax my mind and body. I do this prior exercising and several times through out the week.

  • So poignant, I was talking about the same earlier today. Without that burning passion and desire success becomes elusive. And yes one has to want something as bad as they need to breath! 🙂

  • It would be nice to just breathe and take it slow. We put too much pressure on ourselves everyday that we forget to breathe and be in the moment.

  • These are the perfect Motivations for Monday’s. It helps to keep motivated throughout the week and helps us to give our best.

  • This ties into my desire to start a meditation practice. There is something so relaxing about taking time to just inhale and exhale. It soothes the body.

  • In our go, go, go lives we often forget to take a moment and just breathe. There is so much to appreciate in life and we should stop and enjoy it.

  • Like that quote that, you started your post with to acknowledge everything that we got.., as we get up early in the morning is so profound. I truly believe in that as well.

  • It’s amazing how something so simple can have a very powerful effect on us. I used to practice mindful breathing techniques when I meditated. It was very helpful and now I try to use breathing techniques with parenting my four children. Oh, that definitely requires a lot of breathing, right? Lol! Also, breathing is very helpful for labor and childbirth. I am pregnant now and part of my birth plan is to implement breathing techniques for my natural labor.

  • Learning to meditate and slow your breathing is a handy thing to know how to do. THanks for the tips

  • I like this topic, BREATHE. Often times we are so consumed of what is happening with our surrounding that we forget to do it. We need to pause, breathe and clear our mind.

  • It’s true, inhaling and exhaling deeply helps so much! We often forget how lucky we are to breathe.

  • Breathing is just a basic way to live but sometimes, especially when we’re caught up with all the daily tasks we endure, we forget to breathe properly. I’m also guilty of that.

  • My apple watch reminds me to take deep breaths and it’s the greatest thing ever. It really does make a difference.

  • I usually do some deep breathing right when I lay down to go to sleep. It totally relaxes my body and helps turn my brain off for the night. I need to do more of it during the day to relieve stress.

  • Silence is a big deal when it’s stressful. If you get involved quickly rather than sitting to reflect first you can escalate the stress. Good point!

  • I’m always finding myself holding my breath. I tend to get anxious and I really need to work on just letting things be and breathing!

  • I’ve decided to fit Yoga into my schedule twice a week and meditation daily. When I did Yoga daily my breathing and relaxation peek was on point and I managed stress differently.

  • I love this topic! I definitely believe that taking those precious moments to breathe allows us to really appreciate the moment.

  • I was hospitalized a month ago because of pneumonitis. Back then, I had a hard time breathing to the point that I thought I would die! Now I’m on Seretide and I have been breathing well since. No more asthma attacks, and I hope none in the future!

  • Just breathe…I speak these words to myself on numerous occasions….and it helps to just breathe sometimes.

  • Oh yes! Breathe! What a great thing to think about. Sometimes I feel like we are just so busy I can’t take the time for a deep breath, but definitely need it.

  • Breathing is a good way to relax and compose yourself. It’s also a good way to pull ourselves together when facing a tough situation

  • I often hold my breath in situations whereby the air is not fresh or when i am trying to control my nerves.

  • I recently started doing yoga again and working on different breathing techniques which help to lower anxiety and bring a sense of calmness.

  • When I think of “Breath” or “Breathing” it means life. If we don’t breath we have no life.

  • Sometimes it’s important to just take a moment, and breathe. Thank you for the reminder. 🙏🏻

  • Sometimes I need to be reminded to just stop and breathe. I worry so much about the future that I don’t just take a deep breath and enjoy the now. I need to do that more.

  • This is definitely something we all need to remember to do more. I myself have a hard time remembering this. I try to always take a step back sometimes and take a deep breath to decompress.

  • What a great prompt. Sometimes it takes a little reminder to just breathe and enjoy what’s around you.

  • Breathing is key to our core; Spiritually and physically. When we aren’t mindful of our breath, we tense up. It’s important that we are connected fully so that we can be our best selves!

  • It’s funny I saw this post today of all days. I struggle with PTSD, and as a result I tend to live with a lot of pent up anxiety. Lately, breathing has been harder for me, and this was a great reminder to just take some time in the silence – time to listen to nothing but the air moving in my lungs.

    Thank you.

    • So good to see you back again. I had wondered where you were and hoped you were doing well. Thank you for sharing how much this reminded you to let go and just breathe… I’m with you on this. Stay well! <3

  • We can’t take any breath for granted. Life is a beautiful gift 🙂

    Gennifer Rose

  • Anxiety is the cause to many problems, we should be aware of our breathing and that’s the key I guess. This post has inspired me to connect spiritually and physically, I would now take some steps to live joyfully and take care of my breath.

  • I do agree that breathing is essential to de-stress. I didn’t realise that many a times, whenever I was concentrating or stressed over something, I forgot to breathe deeply. This actually led to anxiety and palpitation~

  • breathing in and out will keep you calm and release whatever negatives within

  • As a dancer and sometime a public speaker, I had to work on my breathe a lot. But I must be honest, outside of that, I don’t really take the time to breath deeply and relax. I have done some yoga once and we had a deep breathing experience which was amazing and oh so relaxing! xx corinne

  • Nothing’s better than deep breathing. It really keeps you concentrated, relaxed and I think it’s the most important thing that people easily forget!

  • The first thing that comes to my mind when you say breathe, is literal breathing! Ask someone who easily gets cold and stuffy nose with allergies!!!!

  • Actually pranayama is so good for our body and I used to religiously follow it but now becoming lazy.

  • Very inspirational post and photos. Indeed life is a gift. Breathing and loving life is a great way to embrace life!

  • This is a beautiful post! I agree and love to write about the same topics. Self-love and taking care of ourselves is so important!

  • Maybe it’s bhastrika that I need! Have been feeling really stressful for the past few weeks and reading this makes me wanna start yoga soon!


  • A lot of positive can be gained from breathing. It’s more of providing your brain with adequate oxygen so it function properly. Giving you better critical thinking.

  • Sometimes we forget to just take a step back and BREATH! This is such a great pick me up because as the day gets more and more stressful a reminder like this can really help lighten the mood. Great post!

  • This was a good reminder to stop and breathe. Calming breaths are so relaxing because it helps me to not stress. I did lamaze breathing with each of my kids when I was in early labor.

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