A few random times each day, my Apple watch will beep with a nudge for me to breathe.  Presumably this isn’t because I’ve stopped doing so, but rather a reminder to take good deep breaths for up to a minute.

On average, we take 20,000 breaths a day. A vital and subconscious act that we take for granted. Think about it. How many of your own breaths do you even notice each day?

This is presumably the point of this app; to prompt us to take a minute and just relax.

It says something that a common complaint about the Apple watch is this precise feature.  You see, it gives the same notification sound or vibration as if you were being alerted that you received a text or email. Many users expecting a little endorphin rush from a potentially exciting (but more often not) message are disappointed when they are instead told to slow down and take a breath.

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. Even in the best of times, we need to pause and take it all in.

Recently, I celebrated my seventeenth wedding anniversary and I still remember the sage advice given to me from my friend Jerry for that day. He said, “Make sure at least a couple of times during your wedding day, you take a step back and look around. It will be one of the few times in your life that you will be surrounded by almost everyone who loves you. The other time will be your funeral.” 

How quickly I’ve forgotten these words of wisdom.  Even as I’m in the very exciting process of launching a new children’s book, I am not pausing to enjoy it. Instead I’m rushing to the next thing  – losing the once in a lifetime chance to really stop and soak it all in.

Stopping to breathe and relax is especially important when times are tough. Who hasn’t snapped at their child, a partner or a co-worker when. if given the chance to step back and breathe, would have resulted in a completely different response? 

We are better people when we take pause and remember what’s important versus what seems urgent.

So rather than disabling this function on my watch, I think I’ll instead increase the number of times it reminds me of the importance of stopping to take a few deep breaths. 

After all, if you’re going to do something 20,000 times a day, shouldn’t you enjoy at least a few of them?

I hope you take a deep breath and embrace this moment. 

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