As part of my objectives for improving my health, and not to be mistaken as a New Year’s resolution, I wanted to find ways to improve the quality of my breath. Sounds crazy, right? Breathing is an innate function – you do it without thinking and when you really need a little extra oomph, you yawn. What I mean is that I need to take more time to be cognizant of the breath I take and the quality of that breath. Am I anxious? Am I frustrated? Am I sleepy? Am I calm? Was that a sigh of relief or of frustration?
In order to get started, I needed to make sure that I started to look inwards to improve my health. Now, I can certainly say I am doing fine and all of the issues that plague me are environmental, but that would just be a lie. A lot of my motivation and my feeling of self were unaligned. Therefore, I started mediation. No, I wasn’t sitting on a yoga mat, burning incense and listening to monk chants (not that there is anything wrong with that but let me start small)… I downloaded an app called “Calm” from the iOS App Store. The app leads you through guided meditation, most sessions not being more than 10 minutes long. It guides you through deep breathing and through becoming aware of one’s self. I have completed the 7-day introductory package and am moving on to the 21-day course.
In addition to dedicating 10 minutes each evening before bed, and yes the husband is fully supportive and even makes sure our little puppies don’t intrude, I wanted to improve the quality of my breath in one my most stressful times -commuting. Sitting in traffic on the way to work, when you have an 8am meeting and it is already 7:50 with at least another 10 minute drive ahead of you…well that is nerve racking and even a 10-minute guided session could not help relax the nerves. So I opted for a more holistic approach coupled with one of the strongest senses a person has – I started to diffuse essential oils in my car with my diffuser every day. I also purchased a charcoal air purifier.
The diffuser I purchased was not super expensive as this was more of a trial with high hopes. I ordered it from Amazon for $12.99 with prime shipping (free 2-day delivery). It comes with an extra cotton wick and very easy instructions. You need to use distilled or filtered water and whatever essential oil of your choice, but it should be water soluble. Then you plug it in, turn it on, and just like that I had a clean scent that filled my car and some added clean humidity to help relieve that cough from dry air and pollution. Rating: 🎋🎋🎋
Then there was the charcoal-based air purifier that the car needed badly. With two adults and two Boxers sharing a small car, the car ends up smelling like a locker room over time. No Febreeze clip-in, spray, rolling down of windows, or those weird tree-shaped scents would help mask the odors. So instead of masking, I wanted to find something that would absorb and neutralize the scent, leaving it fresh and ready for my essential oils. I wanted something healthy that would support my healthier journey and would not deteriorate because of changes in temperature or sun. After some research, I found the Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag that contains 200mg of natural bamboo charcoal. After the first hour of having this inside the car, the car already smelled like it had recently been vacuumed! And this was only $9.95 with prime shipping. It does not have any fragrance or chemicals so it does not interfere with the essentials oils nor is it harmful to the puppies, my husband, or myself. Rating: 🎋🎋🎋🎋
I have been using all three of these techniques for the past week and I have to say that while the effects are subtle, I have noticed that especially during those AM commutes, I am not as easily agitated (even though my coffee is still waiting to be consumed). I noticed that I do not have the sniffles in the car as much and that the scent of the diffuser is subtle enough to make it smell like lavender and the ocean but does not overpower the vehicle or evaporate by exposure.
One day at a time and one deep breath in through the nose and exhale through the mouth… That is one step closer to improved health and better quality breaths.