Breath, Resilience, Embrace, Accountability, Truths of Life, Happiness, Enjoy

Non-Fiction - Self Help
364 Pages
Reviewed on 09/22/2020
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Author Biography

Leonidas Hadjimitsis is a romantic realist who aims to improve people's perception about reality so that they embrace it in a manner they will feel more comfortable to assume accountability for the story they write about their lives.

Dealing with a neurological disorder for the past 12 years, he holds onto the concept of his book BREATHE to walk, to speak, to perform, and to enjoy life as it happens.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis is an interesting book with a captivating title that offers a great invitation: “Life is a joke...At times, a bad one. BREATHE out your sense of humor!” This is one of the best books I have read in a while, a book that speaks about one of the most essential things of all — the art of living with grace. The title itself gave me the idea of the freedom of the wind, or the air we breathe, and is a verb, so the title came across as compelling. At the start, the author shares an interesting thought: “In the beginning, I had the idea to title an empty book as BREATHE and ask you to breathe and fill the pages with your thoughts and experiences, to make it and feel that it is yours.” In this book, you will find compelling thoughts that drive intentional breathing and that allow readers to move from the art of controlling their breath to consciously steering their lives towards the direction they want it to take.

Leonidas Hadjimitsis’ book was written as a message to his own children, but it happens to be one of the books that are suitable for readers overwhelmed by the toxicity of contemporary life. The author urges readers to learn to connect with their deepest emotions and to keep the focus while navigating the disturbing and challenging situations that life throws at them. In this book, readers find tips on conquering inner freedom, finding happiness and meaning, and living gracefully. The book is filled with inspiring thoughts, short and evocative messages that are intended to awaken readers to the consciousness of the precious life they are given. Here are some of the exciting thoughts I gleaned from this book: “Breathing defines the boundaries of life and the flow in between. It serves as a gauge to indicate the quality of our choices and as a tool to reinstate balance and find peace,” and “Resilient people are determined to breathe their way out of any difficulty. They do not allow their breath to halt.” This is an engaging and inspiring book that will help readers discover their strength and take control of their lives.

K.C. Finn

Breathe is a very personal work of non-fiction focusing on self-help, and was penned by author Leonidas Hadjimitsis. As the author suffers from a progressive form of motor neuron disease, he has always been in the habit of reminding himself to breathe, as a necessity for life. This medical practice led Hadjimitsis to a revelation that others do not necessarily take this time to breathe and think in order to overcome challenges in their life. What follows in this extensive guidebook is a series of advisory sections that spring from the author’s own personal experiences, difficulties and worries, complete with management and thinking strategies that readers can also implement for themselves.

I really appreciated the organization and progression of this book, as author Leonidas Hadjimitsis starts his readers off with the simple task of breathing, and slowly moves through the different psychological processes which are required to open up and face the truths of life, therefore finding eventual happiness and peace. The sections spell these different areas out, and I particularly enjoyed the advice about Accountability, as I feel that a lot of self-help books leave this concept of conscience out entirely. Hadjimitsis’s narration is concise and well-formed, but it also has moments of real comfort and highly emotive peaks when he discusses his beliefs in relation to managing his own life. What results is a truly inspiring work with plenty of great advice to find contentment in life, making Breathe a recommended read for self-help enthusiasts everywhere.

Christian Sia

Life is a joke...At Times, a Bad One: BREATHE Out Your Sense of Humor! is a title that invites readers to embrace life and to live fully, an inspiring book by Leonidas Hadjimitsis. In a nutshell, this book invites readers to do the one simple thing that makes living possible: breathe. And while this is important when it comes to physically inhaling air, the author proposes a path that will help readers connect more deeply to themselves, create happiness, and handle stress effectively. But this book is much more than that. It is a book about living consciously and the author demonstrates that there is life in becoming intentional about breathing.

This is a well thought out book with tips and insights that will help readers build resilience, create a strong sense of wellness, experience happiness, and make choices that add value to their lives. This is a book about the art of living and finding sense and space in a world that has become emotionally polluted and filled with psychological junk. There are many insightful thoughts and statements to ponder such as the following: "Truths of life are the realities you need to acknowledge to allow acceptance of yourself, of others, and of life itself. Conscious breathing is a personal choice and can make you feel better when you need it. This is as simple as truths of life get." Leonidas Hadjimitsis has written a book that will be a great companion to a meaningful life, a book that will remind readers that they have the key to unlocking the huge potential they have. This is a great tool that will allow you to connect strongly with life.

Romuald Dzemo

Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis is a self-help book with a title that caught my attention immediately: an imperative command that offers a simple instruction to the reader. In this very stressful and fast-paced contemporary life, it is not unusual for people to find themselves so caught up in the demands of their work that they fail to even live. The book’s relevant title: Life is a joke...At times, a Bad One: BREATHE Out Your Sense of Humor! is an invitation to readers to take life less seriously, to handle stress through the simple exercise of breathing. The book articulates brilliantly on a variety of themes, including resilience, the importance of purpose, self-awareness, accountability, happiness, the power of the freedom of individual choices, and many others.

Leonidas Hadjimitsis explains that this book has been a project of several years and he wrote it for his children. But the book is far more than a message to one’s children. It is a book with invaluable lessons on life. In fact the symbolism associated with breathing in the context of this book is very strong, for when anyone stops breathing, they die. This book offers paths that readers can use to breathe in the oxygen that fills them with more life. The lessons are designed to help readers create a strong sense of awareness about who and what they are and to help them bring this consciousness with them as they face each situation in life, taking responsibility for whatever happens to them and embracing their power to make life-changing decisions. The author uses a style that is simple and popular and addresses readers directly. The book features exercises and thought-provoking passages that will help anyone add more value to their life. Fans of oriental philosophy will adore Leonidas Hadjimitsis’ thoughts.

Rabia Tanveer

Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis is a self-help book that shows the reader how to find their center, embrace themselves and just breathe. The author takes examples from his life, makes it personal for readers and connects with them so that they can see how to treat every moment of life as precious. Overcoming challenges can be exceptionally difficult when we forget that we too have emotions and mental capacities. Testing yourself beyond your limits without properly preparing yourself can be hard on you, so the author advises how to properly arm yourself to overcome your challenges and adversities. But before you can do that, you need to learn to love yourself, find your happiness and learn to enjoy yourself to be able to become successful at life.

More than that, this book teaches risk management, managing your life, how you make yourself psychologically strong, how to become a strong parent, how to make your health your priority and, overall, become a better and more mature version of yourself. I enjoyed how the author took it upon himself to make the book as personal as possible. He enabled readers to get invested, to look for things that will help them and made them realize that they have something they can be proud of. The narrative was very easy to understand; the author chose his words very carefully so that his book was approachable for everyone. I enjoyed how I could find reasons to share it with my family members because I believe it has some really good advice that can help a lot of people without conforming to one particular mind set.

Asher Syed

Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis began as a way for the author to allow his children to breathe life into the pages of a journal with their own hopes and experiences. When Hadjimitsis determined this could be done with really any normal journal, he instead shifted his focus to do something he'd always dreamed of, and Breathe was born. Breathe is more than a mere self help book on the importance of breath in every moment of life, but also a metaphor...a symbolic word that draws out additional phrases for Hadjimitsis' seven physically intangible but spiritually necessary things that define life (Breath, Resilience, Embrace, Accountability, Truths of Life, Happiness, and Enjoy). It is in Breathe that Hadjimitsis breaks down what is needed to break free and live our best lives.

Out of all the chapters in Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis, the most striking to me was Accountability. As someone who has long had a poor habit of being a people-pleaser who overpromises and sometimes finds themselves falling short (and inevitably letting others down), it was like Hadjimitsis was speaking to me directly when he writes, “Make choices you can be accountable for and which allow you to deal with your conscience and breathe freely!” How many times in the past did I end up holding my breath in anticipation of telling someone I'd be unable to help/come/meet/etc? If only I had said to myself, “It is not limiting to know that there are limits,” then I'd have been spared the embarrassment and they the disappointment. There is something in this book for everyone and I am grateful for the opportunity to have read it myself.

Jamie Michele

Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis is a non-fiction self-help book that focuses on breath and the power of breathing, and how it impacts all facets of life. The book is broken down into seven different parts, each with between two and six subsections. Interestingly, the title of each chapter actually uses an acrostic form, with the first letter of each title forming the word 'breathe.' Hadjimitsis has creatively directed the acrostic chapters for use as a further mnemonic device, not only spelling out the word 'breathe' but also heading the sections with what he addresses as the most important qualities that define life: Breath, Resilience, Embrace (with love, both yourself and others), Accountability, Truths of life, Happiness, and Enjoy (everything in life, good and bad). The subsections cover all facets of life, from health, personal relationships, and spirituality, to taking control, economics, and ethics.

Leonidas Hadjimitsis applies both the theory of his work and his own personal circumstances and history to back up how utilization of the theory has had a positive impact on his life and those around him. In doing so, he is able to pull all seven parts together in a way that readers will find to be understandable and comfortable. I particularly liked how Hadjimitsis inserted graphs, charts, and some scientific data to further strengthen the theory. Some areas are definitely more relatable than others. For example, I could absolutely relate to an argument he had with a friend who was also a smoker, as well as his friend's response (which is a real zinger). I am less able to relate to his story about micromanaging a Filipino housemaid and nurse to the point of giving her a book on project management. Overall, Breathe is insightful and interesting, and I believe it is a solid addition to the library of self-help books that many will enjoy.

Lesley Jones

Without breath, there is no life, but many people take no notice of each breath they take. The same can be said with the thoughts we have, the choices we make and the actions we take. Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis will open your eyes and mind to the amount of control you have over your life, and the abilities you possess to change. Discover how to breathe correctly and the benefits in doing so, how to face challenges head-on with a positive but realistic mindset. How can you see the bigger picture in times of hardship and realize the capabilities you possess? Understand that your beliefs, principles, and habits are causing the obstacles in your life that are inhibiting your desired future. With researched findings and teachings from the greatest minds in history, you will learn the key to true happiness, build healthy relationships, gain a proper perspective of situations and realize that anything is possible with the right mindset. Life should be an eternal journey of discovery, learning and exciting experiences - if there is no learning, there can be no positive transformation into the person you were meant to be.

Unlike most self-help books I have read which deal with one particular aspect of the personality, Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis is more of a guidebook for life than a self-help book. There are so many topics covered regarding improving self-awareness from the inside out. I feel the techniques shared are so simple but effective and will arm you with the knowledge to face life with a fresh perspective. The information isn't sugar-coated and admits life can be tough and you will face challenges, but you can find happiness and fulfillment even when times get tough. The advice on breathing techniques is the foundation of everything. I truly believe that anyone who reads this book will gain the courage to take calculated risks to fulfill their dreams and full potential. They will also learn to make decisions which are based on fact, not past experiences. Another great aspect of this book is to face past experiences and learn from them, not become a victim of past traumas. This book is uplifting and gives you the confidence to plan for the future you have always wanted but never thought possible.

Edith Wairimu

In Breathe, Leonidas Hadjimitsis explores a range of topics that pertain to life in general. They include energy management, progress, self-awareness, decision-making, and living a healthy lifestyle among many others. The word Breathe is used as an acronym and stands for: Breath, Resilience, Embrace, Accountability, Truths of Life, Happiness and Enjoy. In the section on accountability, the work begins with an invaluable lesson of starting with the end goal in mind. It advises that you begin to work now on what you would want to achieve by the time you get to your advanced years. In the last section, Enjoy, the work emphasizes the brevity of life and encourages taking risks to learn and grow. In the same section, celebrating even the small things and striving for self-awareness are discussed.

Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis incorporates statistics that explain the information in the book. In discussing the need to change an original strategy in personal and work life with time, the author quotes from a different source showing that 93% of successful companies have to change original strategies to remain successful. Anecdotes personal to the author give the work depth since they create a reader-author link. Many enlightening philosophical quotes appear. They help to summarize the messages in the book. The work is also effectively organized. Each section contains chapters within it. The main messages are written in bold or differentiated using a different background color. Rhetorical questions appear - such as “How independent do you think you are?” - when discussing the benefit of disconnecting for a few moments from everyday life make the work’s tone conversational. Breathe incorporates diverse messages that will appeal to different readers.

Mamta Madhavan

Breathe out your sense of humor because life can be a bad joke at times. Breathe by Leonidas Hadjimitsis is an insightful and motivating book that will help readers see life in a simplistic and holistic manner. Breathe will give readers a new perception when it comes to accountability, embracing life, and learning about the truths of life. The author encapsulates the entire concept of Breathe into Breath, Resilience, Accountability, Truths of Life, Happiness, and Enjoy and guides them in discovering their happiness and enjoying their lives. The book will encourage readers to breathe so that they can face adversities and bounce back from challenges. The book has been divided into sections where the title of each section begins with one of the letters that form the title of the book. Let us all stop for a conscious breath, be resilient enough to confront the realities of life in a positive way, embrace people with love, make choices where they are accountable, have a sense of self, be happy, and enjoy the big things, small things, and little things.

The approach to the topic is fresh and the author weaves in themes of health, management, parenting, psychology, and his personal story, making it an engaging read. This book will help readers contemplate the intricacies of life, self-consciousness, and self-discovery, thereby helping them create a harmonious environment. It is a good book to make readers realize the power of breathing and how resilient people use their breath. The author speaks about the concept in a simple way so that it can be understood by all readers. He is expressive when it comes to expanding the concept, helping readers delve deep into the subject.


My life guide!!!
After reading it, my whole life approach restarted This book reformed my thoughts, made me believe in life, be happy, feel and give love, become a better person.
Leo Hadjimitsis thank u for being in my life... i will always do.

Marios M

It's a treasure!
A great tool to learn to appreciate, to find simplicity within complexity, to step up gaining your life that got lost in everyday's routine and along the way of implementating dreams and life plans that seemed clear enough in the beginning but got messed-up or even degraded.
A lesson of life; or better say: A Lesson to Live!
Leonidas, with great and unlimited respect to this piece of your work and mostly for your struggle, your thirst for life and the endless praise of love, I thank you for this!
And thank you in advance for the next ones!

Maria Yioutani

This book gives you lessons on how to love and embrase life It makes you realise that every breath you take is valuable so you have to consiously live every moment. Also how to live in peace with yourself and others and so much more valuable tips to start living yourlife within new perpective.... I love this book.

Gaurav Vohra

A Manual to Life!

The book is a beautiful piece of work, as it brings real life examples from author’s life, which all of us face in our lives too. The book gives you a fresh perspective to life, through useful inputs of how to be on driver’s seat for our own life, how to be a good parent, health and well-being as a priority, coming out of past life and impressions and how to move on in life.

The book presents the real situation that life can be tough, full of challenges, but how can one still have the zeal, enthusiasm and have fulfilment and be happy in difficult times. The book inspires you for a life, which each one of us aspires for and also gives us inputs on self-awareness, self-love, self-respect and self-control which can help you embrace and strongly connect to life.

As the title, book talks about the Breathe, how to breathe and on its various aspects. The author uses a simple and straight forward approach to address the readers and has everything in it to appeal to readers of diverse interests.


You want to know about life from someone who has to Breathe to live..? Read this book..

Leonidas makes most of the self-help gurus and their books seem so fake. He is for real. Leonidas wrote this primarily for his children. It's his legacy. That's why its real. That's why its different. Read it. And then read it again.

Ioanna Makri

Written with emotional maturity, self knowledge, realism and sensitivity, the book “BREATHE” is not only about the benefits of the correct breathing. It's an inspiration for any of us to give quality to our life: gratitude for each day we are given. With generosity, kindness, understanding, love, patience.. Like a journey to spirit, soul and body, this book is one of the best i read!

Maria-Eva Tsola

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend”, Paul Sweeney once said about the kind of special relationship readers foster with their books – but that is typically brief as it only lasts as long as the book itself. “BREATHE” is the kind of book that seems to produce the opposite effect: in turning the last page, the feeling is that of having just made a friend -one that will continue to be accessible for guidance, information, inspiration, but maybe mostly as a reminder that what sometimes looks like an insurmountable obstacle is often a path to growth in disguise-if we choose to see it and use it that way.

Written from the perspective of a loving father who wishes to pass on to his children the valuable lessons he has learned so far in life, the author maintains the same gentle didactic tone throughout the book, pausing frequently to directly address the reader, to explore and explain topics, and to simplify complex concepts into everyday language –all the while supporting his attempt with rigorous relevant research. From beginning to end, the author has done an excellent job of never losing sight of the reader: with thought-provoking questions, prompts, tips, exercises, and numerous quotes and excerpts from some of the world’s greatest thinkers of all time interspersed all through the book, readers are invited to think critically and ask their own questions; they are encouraged to introspect, and in this way, play their own part and rethink their own choices and stories in the process of reading. Even though these elements alone make the book worth reading, the strength of this book stems from what it represents: the very human act of searching to find meaning, of acquiring the ability to interpret situations realistically, of eventually becoming able to find a new and emotionally fulfilling purpose – one that can be shared with others, too, to help them grow. “BREATHE is what I have devised to help me stay on my feet, as the type of motor neuron disease I deal with reminds me to breathe consciously to be and to do”, the author tells us. The book that came to life is a product of the author’s own successful effort to reinvent and redefine his own life when this was the only choice; it is his “trophy” as he says, aware of how beneficial the process of self-discovery through searching, learning, and writing proved to be. It is in this context that all the important theories discussed along with the author’s personal experiences and reflections converge to form a new and unique understanding of what to “Breathe” really means.

Concise, enjoyable, informative, and inspiring, “BREATHE” will appeal to all in search of meaning and personal growth – particularly those who have already recognized that anything that can improve our ability to handle life’s multiple challenges is, always, an invaluable investment in ourselves.

Cleri Koni

This is a book you don't read once. it's a book you have next to your bed and read every night. You will find a treasure of guiding ideas and inspiring thoughts which will not only make you wiser but will make you rethink how you live your life.
Thanks Leonida for sharing your wisdom with all of us

Spyros M.

To be honest I was expecting to read a typical autobiography with a sense of drama that would be more or less something commonly found.

On the contrary, I caught in my hands a very interesting book highlighting literature bridged with author’s real facts and experiences.

The book is well-structured divided into seven separated chapters each one representing one letter of the word “breathe".
Each chapter begins with the definition of the word for a better understanding and continue with deeper analysis linked with references to individual theories, studies, findings and author’s personal experiences. A final inspired and relevant message is shown at the end of each section.

Undoubtedly, all of the key letters of breathe have equally significant impact on our behaviour as human beings based on what condition we are facing.

Perhaps, the book’s structure indicates that author follows well-organised practices and methods in his life. The author opens his heart to share his thoughts, statements, arguments, feelings, knowledge and conclusions towards understanding the important things of everyday life. Furthermore, those meanings consist of the certain concept and idea providing advices how to live with a purpose. The advices may seem very simple to us but we hardly consider them; most probably because we use to pay attention on minor things though.

Numerous and lovely quoted phrases from different authors and scientists are represented in many parts of the book. This technique made the book to be easily readable and attractive breaking the monotony of the conventional reading flow. I was impressed by the vocabulary and grammar used providing evidence that author has read a plethora of books and spent significant time writing this book.

What I have gained by reading this book is that life is the most valuable gift given to us. We are the key players and it depends on us how to play our life’s game.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book no matter what your preferences are.

Christos Tattis

Don’t know why but every page of this book makes me stop and think a million things!
Things to change in my life… things to improve… and things to keep doing!

Right on spot to the meaning of life!

Xanthi Kollitsis

“Breathe” by Leonidas Hadjimitsis is an extensively-researched and intelligently-written book which is part memoir and part life manual. It offers rich yet simple advice and support to readers through a holistic approach to life incorporating mind, body and spirit. The book’s beautiful cover is symbolic and evocative of the themes within.
The book is structured as a series of well-illuminated chapters using the letters of the title “BREATHE” - Breath, Resilience, Embrace, Accountability, Truths of Life, Happiness and Enjoy.
Each chapter is comprised of smaller subsections which can be read and absorbed individually, and combine factual evidence, quotations, parables, practical tips, mantras and personal anecdotes from the author’s life, offering valuable insights, common-sense wisdom and the strategies to develop self-awareness and achieve personal growth. The warmth and simplicity of the text is comforting while the extensive research and data provided, explained in easily-comprehensible language, gives the writing added credibility.
Chapters are introduced with relevant quotes: “Preserve your spirit, uphold your health, find a purpose, love and be loved.. Flow! If you don’t feel happy, no one else will feel it for you. Being happy is as personal as breathing!” introduces the chapter on happiness.
In style and tone, “Breathe” is a soulful, personal development book that allows you to accompany the author on his journey, while simultaneously pausing along the way to travel within yourself to explore and discover the connections between yourself, your relationships and your own journey through life.
Resources are diligently cited at the end of the book, offering the reader the chance to delve deeper into the chapter topics.
“Breathe” was born of the author’s wish to communicate his philosophy of life to his children and there are moments that will bring a smile to your face or a tear to your eye. However, the wisdom and guidance in this book are for everyone and provide a healthy framework which can enable you to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Sotia Lazarides

Leonidas in his book shares his own hard-won wisdom about living with joy and a sense of purpose even in the face of adversity. Joy is not happiness; it is the inner calm that allows a person to maintain their strength, it is the investigation of those things that make life satisfying! “Breathe” is a one-of-a kind teaching for those who want to live their lives more fully! My first reaction while reading this book was to breathe deeply and smile!!!

Yiannis Hadjiloizou

Leonidas is "Breathe". A self-made success story who has surpassed all academic, professional, and personal challenges, Leonidas has managed to orchestrate a life full of wonders into a scientific yet easy read, notated on paper in detail while allowing for an entertaining and knowledgable experience. Knowing Leonidas since the late 90s, I have been blessed to witness the path of what is today called "Breathe". Leo is a movement all by and within himself, both literally and metaphorically. Every phrase and chapter in this treasure, has been tested by the obstacles and miracles of human interaction, and philosophical thinking. It is a runway between the mortal and the divine. Do not look into making sense of the meaning of this book by reading it, but rather try to connect with the author himself, as he is the one and ultimate catharsis of his own sayings. That is, love against all odds.


Excellent book, helps you look at the positive side of life. Pick it up when you are down to give you courage to get up.

Natalie Zannettou

Breathe is what it was written to be... a gift!

It is a gift to children who are growing up in a world with questionable values and principles, brought up in a time where turning inwards is no longer taught or valued.

Breathe invites us to get present, not just to our breath but also to what feels true and right. It creates a clear pathway for dealing with the challenges of life!


When we pause to Breathe we create an opportunity to see and respond to life outside of our automatic reaction. When we Embrace life, are Accountable for that nothing occurs in a vacuum (we are also there and therefore are co-creating it), when we find the courage to embrace the Truths of life, we ARE Resilient, Happy and CAN Enjoy life!

Beautifully written, embracing the truths of life and awakening us to a romantic realism much needed in our world!

Highly recommend! Enjoy!