Breathing is the first thing we do coming into this world. Then as now, it is an automatic function, even if we needed a swat on the butt back then to get us started . And it will be the last function our body performs as we say adios. We ever think much about breathing, except when we can’t. I’ve seen the anxiety of those in respiratory distress such as asthma and COPD struggle for their next breath. I decided early on in my career that I wasn’t going to smoke, as it is a precursor of pulmonary problems and I was not going to die that way if I could help prevent it. Singers, actors and public speakers know and practice the importance of proper breathing techniques for voice control , volume , and projection. Those that do yoga, and meditation for example, focus on breathing as a way of mind control, and becoming in sync with the body. Focused breathing also works wonders for anxiety and monkey mind thinking. It is a way to clear negativity, and dysfunction by breathing in deeply, concentrating on optimistic thoughts, and then exhaling, letting go of all old patterns , ideas and behaviors that no longer serve us and plug us up. Concentrating on breathing is a way to relax. It works well when one goes to bed with a lot on their mind and find it difficult to go to sleep. Taking purposeful deep breaths invites a peaceful sleep. As I’ve aged, I’m much more aware of my breathing. I often stop to catch my breath after I reach the store, when walking from the park-ing lot in the hot sun. My house work is usually interrupted by several breaks between tasks. Endurance decreases, and aches and pains interferes with our functioning and impacts our breathing as we age. We need to pay more attention to our breathing, and take purposeful deep breaths frequently to expand lung function and improve circulation. Paying attention to what is going on in the environment helps us too. A burning or fire in the neighborhood for example pollutes the air we breath in. Not to mention the various pollen spikes we experience. Make sure that your filters are changed regularly to insure the air quality in the house is optimized. I’ve heard someone say “some days just about all I can do is just breathe”. That seems to be be true sometimes for me too. It’s ok if on some days all we can do is breathe. I’m grateful that I can still accomplish that, and everything else is a perk.