Day 150 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

A Sigh of Health

I’m going to sound a bit contradictory today. For those of you who read yesterday’s Unexpected Health tidbit, you know I talked about anticipation (and for those of you who didn’t read it, now you know what I was yapping about!). Yes, as I explained yesterday, there are oodles of health to be found in anticipation. But today, while I thankfully relax after an event I had been anticipating (my 1/2 marathon), I discovered the relaxing, the take-a-deep-breath-because-it’s-over feeling, the Unexpected Health…in relief.

It is not uncommon that health can be present in seemingly opposites. There is health in anticipation of an event, and there is health (and relief) when it is over! Relief, in particular, has lots of obvious health benefits: being relieved means your worry, your stress, or even your anticipation, is over. Breathing a ‘sigh of relief’ lets out stored up toxins in our bodies, creating a calming effect through our entire selves. And think about the health that a relief pitcher brings to a game? But the Unexpected Health in relief is that as we are relieved from tension in our lives (or even anticipation), we experience that life ‘sigh’…and letting go and taking a deep breath in life is healthy.

Have you ever noticed how relief naturally brings about a sigh? I’m sure that is why that saying came about, but I find it fascinating that relief often comes with a deep exhalation of breath. After my running buddy and I crossed the finish line, grabbed a water, and made our way under the shade of a tree, I let out a huge out breath. I was overwhelmed by the relief I was experiencing, and after sighing, I immediately felt my body begin to relax. A simple out breath was enough to elicit a healthy feeling of completion, followed by relaxation.

We will always be faced with tension-building times, anticipatory events, even stress-inducing experiences. But the beauty–the health–of any of these situations is that there is always an ending. And with the knowledge that finality is inevitable, that there is a ‘light at the end of the tunnel,’ we know that a sigh of relief will be coming. So, the next time you experience overwhelming relief, take a deep breath in through your nose, and then let out your deepest, most gratifying sigh of relief. The anticipation is over, the event is finished…aaaaahhhhhhhhh. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

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