Photo by Pedro Afonso.

Breathlessness also known as dyspnoea refers to the sensation of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. It is an extremely common symptom that can be both distressing and frightening for patients and care givers. Breathlessness may occur in conjunction with other symptoms such as cough, chest pain and fever. That being said breathlessness in not always a bad thing. Remember that famous quote – best things in life make you breathless, right? Think about all the times you’ve been breathless and happy as can be. The sensation of running a marathon, having sex or simply having the breath leave your lungs when you see something extraordinary. When you see your favorite musician perform or a divine sunset, all those things leave us breathless. Falling in love leaves us breathless; looking at the one you love makes your heart skip a beat and deprives you of oxygen. Running through a lavender field in Provence. Kissing someone so hard and so deep that you have trouble catching your breath afterword. Looking at a magnificent piece of art in person for the first or millionth time. Snow falling softly and blanketing the world in glittering silence. Riding a camel in the deserts of Giza and seeing the Pyramids shimmer in the heat in front of you. Looking at a piece of jewelry or a piece of history that you’re about to possess. Diving into the refreshing waves of the ocean on a blistering day. Seeing your child take it’s first steps. Laughing so hard you think you’re gonna die. Climbing into a hot, luxurious bathtub after a day on the icyslopes. The smell of freshly cut grass on a beautiful summer morning. Looking through old holiday photographs and remembering the sun on your skin. Dancing in the rain drunk on tequila in a foreign country with a handsome man you’ve just met. Making a wish upon a falling star. Take a deep breath in. Now let it out. You probably notice right away a difference in how you feel. Your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious, that’s why we learn it in Yoga and Pilates. Most people take short, shallow breaths into their stomachs, which generally leaves you feeling anxious and deprives you of energy. The correct way to breathe is into your chest and your back where your lungs live. But most of all the correct way is to occasionally let youself not breathe at all for a blissful moment.

Story by Emily Siegmund.