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My husband tells the story about when he was a very young boy and he and his brother were both living with their mom and dad.
It was dark, and dusty shadows fluttered across the room as the boys lay in their bed. In the next room, mom and dad were arguing. Perhaps Mom was nagging and fussing would be a better term. Dad told her to please be quiet and get some sleep. Mom was known as a chatter box and keeping quiet was not her style, so she continued on and on... Yak Yakity Yak.
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Dad gave a final warning, be quiet or else, but the warning went unheeded. All this time both boys lay trembling in their beds, waiting for the next shoe to drop. It was not a shoe, for dad had a gun under his pillow (why I don’t know) and suddenly there was a LOUD BANG.
Abruptly all was quiet – not a sound anywhere. Both boys held their breath until at last they were forced to release all the air and try to breathe normal again. They dared not move or get out of bed to see what they could see.
It took a long while before the boys eventually drifted off to a restless sleep.
The next morning, there was mom smiling and frying bacon and eggs while dad sipped his coffee as he read the news-paper.
Fast forward many years later, Fact: my husband stops breathing in his sleep. He subconsciously holds his breath until he gasps and comes up for air, which usually wakes him up.
Science has termed this “Sleep Apnea,” and documents that this is wide spread.
Doctors have all kinds of reasons as to why this happens, and they are probably right, but I have always wondered if it had anything to do with the frightened reflex of that night during childhood.
My husband says he has forgiven his long deceased dad for scaring the living daylights out of him, but the panic attacks still continue to come on at times.
A few years ago, my husband and I went to a class at our HMO about getting some relief from his panic attacks. The doctor asked the class how they breathed. He instructed to place your hand under your rib cage and breathe normally. For most their hand did not move. All but one said they took shallow breaths.
As a guest to the class, I was the only one who breathed from my diaphragm. (Pat on back) A teacher in grade school taught us to breathe that way, and maybe that is why I do it.
Taking deep breaths on purpose can relieve stress. I must remember to do this too, as things do pile up even when you are "retired."
I am reminded that God breathed the breath of life into Adam.
May you and I be God breathed when stress comes our way and we panic at the anxiety and pressures of life.
Take a big deep breath now – It will do you good!!
Don't worry or be anxious about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6