Deep breath out. That's how I know when I'm destressing. I learned it as a yoga technique....inhale through the nose, deep breath pushing it all out the mouth. It's involuntary anymore, and now it lets everyone know that what I am dealing with needs to be released, without my wanting anyone to know. "Why are you stressed?" he'll ask 'cause he's kind and genuinely concerned. I like him. I won't usually know what the stressor is at that particular minute...my body just knew what it needed and...deep breath out. Now, we're not talking just a sigh. That would be normal and not too noteworthy. We're talking about my mouth rounding into an 'O' and blowing the deep breath out...with sounds and all. I don't even know I'm doing it until it's done and at least one eye is attracted to the possible cry for attention. I suppose the problem with having involuntary actions cleansing my emotional system is that I can't often grasp at what I needed help releasing. Is that even a problem? Yes, (my psychology courses taunt me) for if I'm not aware of the root of my stress I will continue to ...deep breath out...until I hyperventilate and although momentarily the stress is gone, the stressor is not. So we dig. We dig up the unresolved issues of earlier days and blend them together with obvious 'today' responsibilities and somewhere in the middle of all of this we find the ugly little problem. Sometimes it's removable. Often it's painfully deep within the skin....deep breath out. And he talks to me. And he makes me talk, and he talks again and I love to listen and we'll pass through hours without my having to take any breaths at all. And morning will be breaking so we give in to our human need for sleep and I'll wait a bit until I hear his breathing. It's then that I see God and his hand stroking our hair, and Iremember to thank Him and assure Him that next time I'll remember to turn to Him for peace before the ugly little problem begins to fester.
But I don't...deep breath out.

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