The Faith Hill song, "Breathe" came to mind this morning. I have actually thought of it several times lately, and will several times more, for a particular reason: it is a good way to cope with a stressful or painful situation. (Note- the song is actually about love, it is only the one line 'just breathe' that I connect with in this context.) I seem to go through periods where I am having many health-related procedures done, this is one of those periods. Within the past week, I have had surgery on my hand, which included an IV, and resulted in 3 stitches; 2 blood draws; and removal of a spot on my leg for biopsy, that started with a Lidocaine injection, and ended with 2 stitches. This afternoon, I get to have a pelvic exam and Pap smear. (Guys- imagine someone putting a cold metal thing into your penis, and spreading it open so they can look around for any problems...) I have several other fun activities like these coming up in the near future.
So, has anyone figured out what this list of activities has to do with that song I mentioned? "Just breathe" is what I tell myself whenever one of these unpleasant procedures begins. I focus on drawing in a breath and then letting it out, sometimes counting, sometimes not. The main thing is to focus on the breathing. This does several things for me. First, it distracts me and focuses my mind somewhere else. It makes sure that I am getting adequate oxygen at a time when I might have held my breath instead. And it also keeps me calm, a result of the distraction, the slow, deep, rhythmic breathing, and the mindfulness manner of breathing.