By Tanya Cole-Lesnick, LCSW, PLLC

When I catch myself thinking that same thought again… and again. You know, that thought that keeps going around and around in my head, the one that brings me nowhere new. The one that just makes me feel sad, or angry, or defeated. The one that does nothing to open me up to the possibilities of what could be next. I remind myself to stop listening.

And I take a deep breath.

When I catch myself getting nervous to fly on an airplane or enter a crowded room where I know no one. When I have thoughts of a disastrous outcome. I remind myself that those thoughts aren’t real. That those thoughts don’t prepare me for an inevitable truth, they just keep me scared, nervous, anxious. I remind myself to picture a better outcome. A good one, even.

And I take a deep breath.

When I catch myself getting overwhelmed by the dishes piled up all around the sink. Or the bills that need to get paid. Or the closet that needs to get organized. I remind myself to focus on only one step at a time.

And I take a deep breath.

When I catch myself wanting to do anything but make that one phone call. You know the one that matters, that could lead me somewhere exciting and new. The one I want more than anything to not do in that moment. I push myself to just do it. Fear and all.

And I take a deep breath.

When I worry about the people I love, see them in pain, physical or emotional, whatever it is. When I can’t take it away for them. I remind myself that my being there is something, that it helps.

And I take a deep breath.

So, so simple, the breathing thing. But for some reason we don’t always remember. We get tight and constricted. Nervous. Angry. We hold our breath and forget to just let it go.

To breathe.

And sometimes we remember but we think it’s not enough. We want a bigger, better solution. Something more impressive, more magical. Something with an incredible, powerful, immediate impact. So we wait for that.

And forget to breathe.

But when we remember, when we just breathe, big, deep breaths, it helps. Simple as that. It helps. In a steady, reliable, always-there-when-you-need-it kind of way.

So remember…

And take a deep breath.