I find it amusing that I’m going to talk about breathing when I’m still recovering from my flu and get caught in random coughing bouts here and there. But there you go, I’ve been doing my best to listen to my body and it’s telling me that while building and growing is great, I still need to balance that with going in and getting back to the basics. Today, let’s do an exercise to get you more aware of your breath and breathing.
Sit back in the chair you’re in and close your eyes. Notice the support you’re sitting on – is the seat firm or soft with cushions? Is your back straight or are you slumped over in a more comfortable position? Do you have your legs crossed? Are you sitting in a cross legged position? Or are your feet touching the floor? There is no right answer here. Just notice and see how much more you can make yourself comfortable.
Once you’re ready, I want you to take your left hand and place it lightly on your chest. Breathe in, and feel your chest lift and expand. As you exhale, feel your chest come back down. Take your right hand and place it lightly on your belly. Same thing. Breathe in and see if you can get the air to puff out your stomach area. Does it contract when you breathe out?
As you continue breathing, notice where your body is moving. With each breath, try to keep your focus on your chest and stomach area. Be aware of the natural process and don’t try to push yourself to feel anything else right now. All that’s important in this moment is your breath. Notice as it goes in… And as it flows out.
Continue this process for the next couple of minutes. Aim for five. If you can do it, great! See if you can keep going! If not, no need to bring judgment in. This is simply an exercise to bring you back to your breath. Do this as many times as you need throughout the day, throughout the week. Anytime you feel stressed and need to take a moment to yourself, take a minute or two to close your eyes, go inward, and just breathe… I promise that after those one or two minutes, your mind will be clearer and more focused for the task at hand.
As always, let me know what you think of this exercise and more. Until next time!