Learning how to breathe properly is one of the most effective tools you have for stress relief. How do you do it?
Our breath is under automatic and conscious control. Bring your awareness to your breath.
Breathe in a conscious slow, deep and smooth manner through your nose.
Belly rather than chest breathing with the inhalation and exhalation supports relaxation.
Exhalation is the parasympathetic or relaxation response while inhalation is the sympathetic or fight or flight response. Breathe out by at least 1 second longer than what you breathe in. Ultimately aim for slow breathing with an in-breath for a count of 4 and an out-breath for a count of 6. Put them all together and you have the capacity to put out the fire of acute stress or lower the simmer of chronic anxiety.
Try this now: Breathe in and open. As you reach the top of the in-breath, feel into your natural friendliness. As you breathe out, let go of any tension or stress. Feel the moment of peace. Mindfulness meditation leads to a peace and ease that is you can’t disturb, no matter what life brings. DR. LESLIE ELLESTAD
Mindfulness is an active process that directs one to be present in the moment and see the true nature of what one is experiencing with non-reactivity. It is allowing what is present to be held with the acceptance of mindfulness. There is no attempt to ignore, deny or think one’s way to an answer.
– Phil Blustein
The breath is a great object to start to establish mindfulness. No one breath is the same as another breath. Every inhalation and exhalation comes to an end. We don’t tend to personalize a breath and call it our own. In examining the breath we are able to see the true nature of reality. It is always changing and impermanent. Can we also develop the same self-less awareness of the breath for every other object?