I don't meditate, but I do breathe

I don't meditate, but I do breathe
Unlike Steinbeck, I should do both of these things more. Photo credit: Joe in DC / Foter / CC BY-ND

Recently I’ve been breathing. Yes, technically I’ve been breathing my whole life, but recently I’ve been breathing strategically. It’s been helping me relax and focus. The only downside is that is that I don’t always remember to do it when I need it most. (The strategic breathing, that is. Luckily, the normal, life-supporting respiratory process continues regardless.)

I’m not good at meditating. Clearing my mind is difficult. Yes, I’ve been told that if I practice I will get better at it, but if I had the patience to devote time to practicing meditation I would probably be much less in need of meditation.

What I have found I am able to do to relax and reenergize is a brief bit of deep breathing. I’ve based my technique on various deep breathing exercises from a variety of sources. It only takes about a minute. Give it a try:

  1. Sit up straight.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Take a deep breath in through the nose while slowly counting to 6 in your head.
  4. Breathe out slowly through the nose on another count of 6.
  5. Repeat for 5 breaths.

It’s simple and short, but when I am done I truly feel more focused and energized. It’s amazing how powerful something so simple can be. Plus I can do it without the woman who sits across the aisle noticing that I’m doing anything weird.

Really, the only problem I’ve had with this is that I often forget to do it when I’m really anxious or stressed, which is when this would be most helpful.

Take a few deep breaths, and let me know what you think. What do you do to relax and focus?

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