The human brain needs to decompress, to take a break to rid itself from stress. Today everywhere you turn, technology is growing, making things easier, quicker, and demanding more of our free time. Most of us use every spare moment between meetings, picking the kids up, even walking to our cars, to go online. Because of this, we have denied out brains a chance to decompress. Lack of decompression, of just relaxing, results in stress and anxiety. We need to, just for a few moments, step back, and take time to relax. It only takes moments lower your stress level and these 4 steps can help.
1: Find a quiet, non-distracting area to focus on your breathing.
- As you practice and get better at focusing, you can even do this at your desk and tune out the noise around you.
2: Close your eyes.
- This will help you focus and tune out distractions.
3: Breathe in through your nose.
- Consciously breathe in through your nose, slowly counting to five. As you become more accustom to mindful breathing, increase your count to ten.
- Fill your lungs completely.
- Feel the air entering your body and lungs.
- Meditate on a word or phrase that is personal to you. This can be a phrase such as ”breath,” “relax” or “I’m breathing in peace.”
- Focus on that word with each breath and make that breath meaningful.
4: Exhale through your nose.
- As with breathing in, you want to consciously breathe out through your nose counting to five. As you become more accustom to mindful breathing, increase your count to ten.
- Feel the air leaving your body and lungs, leaving your body limp and relaxed.
- Meditate on a word or phrase such as “peace” or “I am in peace,” as the air leaves your body.
- Feel the tension slide out as you exhale. Starting from your head and working your way down through your body, visualize all of the stress leaving your head. Relax your forehead, face and shoulders. Let the stress flow down arms as it goes out your fingertips. As you breathe out and the air leaves your lungs, visualize the stress moving down, and pushing out through your toes. Concentrate on each body part as it relaxes.
Repeat steps three and four, five to ten times, once or more times a day. Relaxing quicker and deeper will come more easily the more you apply mindful breathing.
Dana Doke-Prahl, a therapeutic yoga instructor at Cardinal Point in Menasha, WI is fond of saying, “Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.” In other words, focus on mindful breathing techniques, decompress your brain, and just breathe.
About the Author
Linda Cashman has been in love with the written word as long as she can remember, and by the age of ten, wanted to write a book. Although she has not yet achieved her childhood dream of writing a book, she has written for television, as well as produced training and sales informational materials. As a strong believer in giving back, she has penned several articles for non-proffet organizations. Linda is currently working on a made-for-television movie.