We heard from many of you, after our Recharge post, saying that you’re so overwhelmed that you’re having a hard time finding the space to care for yourself. You’re not even sure what “recharging” could mean for you.
We hear you.
It’s okay (really), if the only thing you do for yourself today
is pay attention to your breathing.
The research on mindful breathing is clear – it is a powerful intervention for your body:
- your heart rate slows and blood pressure lowers
- your brain receives signals that things are okay, and you naturally become calmer
- you get more oxygen to your brain which helps you think
So, what exactly is mindful breathing?
Simply put, it’s taking a moment once or twice a day to focus on the breath moving in and out of your lungs. That’s it. There’s nothing fancy to say or do in addition to noticing each breath.
Even just a minute or two of this kind of focused breathing can be beneficial to your whole system.
Here are some suggestions to get started:
- Sit comfortably
- Breathe in for 5 seconds, pause for 2 seconds, and breathe out for 7 seconds.
- Repeat 3 times.
If breathing mindfully is all that you have space for,
acknowledge your success and please stop here.
But if you have room for just a bit more read on…
- While breathing mindfully, scan your body and tune into any sensations or emotions you may be having. Don’t do anything with them; just notice them.
- Say to yourself, “I’m here. I’m listening.”
- Really listen and see what comes up. That’s all – you don’t need to do anything but listen.
Too often, we push blindly through the anxiety, pain, and stressors of life. In doing so, we tend to miss, or worse, discount the messages that our physical, spiritual, and emotional selves are trying to tell us.
By allowing yourself a few minutes of mindful breathing each day, you may hear your internal voice. It may be telling you what it needs to navigate the more challenging issues in your life.
This week, see if you can give yourself the gift of mindful breathing each day and then notice if anything changes within.