Breathing Is Your Superpower

I have a teenage daughter who loves everything about the human body so I get to relearn all the facts I forgot in high school.

Everyone knows that breathing helps you calm down but I think we forget what’s actually happening on the inside to make the outside more bearable. It’s really quite amazing.

Ready to go back to high school? (I’ll try to do this in one breath.)

We breathe in air, which goes into our lungs, through a set of tubes, and into tiny air sacs. The oxygen in the air then pushes through teeny tiny little blood vessels in the air sac walls to go into the bloodstream where it attaches to hemoglobin, and floats down a network of blood vessels like Huck Finn rafting the Mississippi. At the cellular level, the oxygen oxygenates the sugars from our food and produces carbon dioxide. Whammo! ENERGY is created.

All that, in a single breath.

So, when the tide shifts and life hits you harder than a hurricane, remember, YOU ARE the wounded superhero who needs to regain her power. You must top fighting, so go curl up somewhere safe and give yourself time to regenerate, before going back to saving the world.

It’s good news, actually. You don’t have to summon the God of Ra, you needn’t recite an ancient proverb in your ancestors’ native tongue. You don’t even have to hold your glowing hand over the parts that hurt.

All you have to do is breathe.