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does anyone else do this?

AutistAcolyte

Active Member
i find that i will often breathe in a rhythm. most often to the lyrics of a song, or a phrase that is repeating in my head. i find i generally set it to words rather than instrumentation, but sometimes it's just an arbitrary rhythm. ive been curious if it's a behavior anyone in the autistic community also does, or if it's just something i do for myself.

i don't know if it's got "a purpose" for me, i'll have to think about that.
 

Darkkin

Lioness of Spoons
V.I.P Member
It is an unconscious grounding technique that develops as a way to have a little control over at least on aspect of one's environment.

I always find the beat to music when I'm out whether it is with my fingers or walking rate.

On the flipside, people who bang on my counter at work, thinking it will make me go faster, (and I am the one who will find a book so fast it will make your head spin), I deliberately downshift to second gear and look directly at the hand banging on my counter. I don't have to say anything and they stop thumping on my desk.
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Respiratory control is handled in several different areas of the brain,...and whatever is the strongest signal at any given moment is the one that will ultimately trigger a breath. If you are in a "steady state" metabolically and emotionally,...it is certainly possible for those respiratory signals to be triggered by your cortex while listening to a rhythmic phrase. I think a good example of this is watching young children learn to memorize the Holy Quran, as from what I understand, it was written to be read in a rhythmic pattern, much like a song. So you would see children getting into the rhythm, often saying the phrases whilst rocking or tapping their hands and feet,...and because it is rhythmic, the breathing often had a rhythm, as well. It's a great way to memorize anything.
 

Loren

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yes, I have found myself doing the same, at various times, throughout my life, although, unlike what you experience, mine is set solely to a beat/ rhythm, as opposed to words.
 

Knower of nothing

Well-Known Member
Consistant rhythm is powerful so it's definitely doing something. Will depend on the tempo but the overall effect is a kind of meditation.
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
V.I.P Member
i find that i will often breathe in a rhythm. most often to the lyrics of a song, or a phrase that is repeating in my head. i find i generally set it to words rather than instrumentation, but sometimes it's just an arbitrary rhythm. ive been curious if it's a behavior anyone in the autistic community also does, or if it's just something i do for myself.

i don't know if it's got "a purpose" for me, i'll have to think about that.

I definitely do this, and my purpose is to calm acute anxiety. It works great for me. I’ve learned about different types of breathing (i.e. box breathing) over the years, but I have found I have to adapt traditional mental health advice a bit to meet my sensory needs. What you described is what I use as my own style of box breathing.

For me, hip-hop is my go to in these scenarios.

 

HeroOfHyrule

Chicken Chaser
I don't think I ever really breathe in a specific, consistent rhythm. My respiration rate, how deep I'm breathing, and the pattern of it vary a lot.
 

AutistAcolyte

Active Member
huh, i had no idea this had a name! what i described is something that happens without me consciously thinking about it, but recently, if i notice that i'm breathing or repeating a negative phrase, i will consciously change the phrase and breathe to the new positive one. i also do box breathing when i get severely anxious. thanks for sharing!
 

GypsyMoth

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Not what you've described, but something different. When I was a child I would breathe in rhythm while in the car as we drove through spaces of light and shadow, or past trees & bushes versus lawn, or whatever odd pattern of opposites there appeared. I remember finding it somewhat annoying as I became a teenager because if someone were talking to me and expected an answer, it would completely throw the rhythm off. I don't think anyone ever noticed.

I don't really remember being conscious of ever starting to do this but once I became aware of it as annoying, I'd stop. But it sure was a bear to stop. Once in a very, very great while I will notice myself holding my breath as I drive--say, under a bridge, which is in shadow, or into the garage. These odd occurrences seem to be the only remnant of this childhood peculiarity.
 

AutistAcolyte

Active Member
When I was a child I would breathe in rhythm while in the car as we drove through spaces of light and shadow, or past trees & bushes versus lawn, or whatever odd pattern of opposites there appeared.
similar but different, i loved watching the powerlines cross one another between poles, they form a sort of wave pattern that was very relaxing to watch, but i always hated the strobe effect of driving past a grove of trees as the sun flashed between the branches
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
V.I.P Member
i loved watching the powerlines cross one another between poles, they form a sort of wave pattern that was very relaxing to watch, but i always hated the strobe effect of driving past a grove of trees as the sun flashed between the branches
Woah, totally agreed word for word. It’s so interesting to me when someone describes my exact experience here.
 

GypsyMoth

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
similar but different, i loved watching the powerlines cross one another between poles, they form a sort of wave pattern that was very relaxing to watch, but i always hated the strobe effect of driving past a grove of trees as the sun flashed between the branches
Other pleasing things I like to see: vineyard rows, as your perspective changes relative to the horizon line, the rows reveal the contours of the slightly rolling hills; row crops, same reason but less roll; that the pattern of some cloud formations look just like the pattern of sand under shallow water when there is a gentle lapping to the water or gentle wave action. Usually turns out to be a fair day. Rows of maple trees turning red. The scattering of leaves in a breeze as they fall. The way leaves on water tend to space apart (surface tension?) before piling up. The pattern of leaf shadows on a rock, and how the pattern reveals the form of what it is patterned against:

82C8B2B3-5020-4BD1-A352-FBE0B993E566_1_105_c.jpeg



BTW, Grammerly's tone detector says this sounds 'nervous'. I don't know why. So I apologize ahead of time if it does but I don't see it.
 

Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
When I was a child I would breathe in rhythm while in the car

It wasn't until I read this, and then came back and read it again several times, that I realised I do similar. Even now. Sometimes I realise that I'm actually consciously controlling my breathing and forcing a rhythm.

It's not easy to stop doing it either, once I've realised that I'm doing it it becomes irritating but letting go of it isn't easy.
 

AutistAcolyte

Active Member
vineyard rows, as your perspective changes relative to the horizon line
oh my gosh, i cant believe i forgot this one! not vineyards, but where i grew up in central florida there were lots of pine farms, and theyre planted in rows perpendicular to the highway. i LOVED watching the perspective shift as you drive past!
 

GypsyMoth

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It wasn't until I read this, and then came back and read it again several times, that I realised I do similar. Even now. Sometimes I realise that I'm actually consciously controlling my breathing and forcing a rhythm.

It's not easy to stop doing it either, once I've realised that I'm doing it it becomes irritating but letting go of it isn't easy.
That's exactly how I feel!
 

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