You've heard it a million times. Your therapist has told you this. Your mom. Your partner. Your boss. Your friend. Even you have told yourself this! Most of the time, this is a way to calm down when you are already worked up. Whether it be anxiety, sadness, pain or trauma, the breath when called into action can help you calm your nervous system and spirit when invoked.
But why only use the breath as an aide to pain, when we can use it daily for awareness?
Part of developing a more mindful life and starting your path to understanding your own feelings (the good, bad and the ugly) is taking more time to be present. Meditation has been key for me to discover more about what my emotions want to communicate and how to properly lean in to stress rather than shutting down and collapsing.
This week, before you commit to yoga 5 times a week, healthy eating, therapy, exercise and the whole gamut... remind yourself of the power of breath and start to practice a conscious pause and breath 3 times during your day.
A pause where you take time to breathe will help you to refocus on the present and begin to understand how your mind and body work when your inner voice can come through.
I'm not asking you to meditate 3 times a day. All I am asking is for you to do is to find a time to Pause, Breathe In, Pause, Breathe Out, Proceed.
How can you start this routine?
Set your alarm if you need to for three times during the day. Perhaps you can do it in the morning after you drink your coffee, in the afternoon slump at work, and before you go home in the evening. Whenever you choose to do so, try and make it consistent for the week.
When your alarm sounds, stop what you are doing, even if you are in the midst of something chaotic, and close your eyes, breathe in, pause, breathe out, and proceed.
As you start to make this a habit, you may begin to realize things about yourself that can be understood with more compassion or you may be able to make adjustments to create a better environment for yourself. What does your body feel like during the pause? What is your brain thinking about? How do you feel?
The more you do it, the more you realize too that you can make time for mindfulness even when you are busy. All it takes is approximately 10-15 seconds.
Give this a try and let me know how it worked out for you after doing this for 7 consecutive days!