Do you notice sometimes that you are running from one thing to the next and not realizing how you got there? “How did I get from the grocery store to my house, because I don’t remember anything about doing it!”
Funny to think that thinking about breathing could be a benefit. I’m not talking just day to day breathing that keeps us alive, I’m talking about a conscious breath or breathing that helps us focus, center, and relax. I’m talking about the kind of breath that helps us to remember to be present with what we are doing: talking with a friend, child, or partner, driving from one place to another, washing the dishes, planting a garden, or sitting at the computer.
I’ve read that if we add up all the time we spend brushing our teeth over our lifetime, it adds up to 8 months! Holy smokes, that’s 8 months of our life that we are not present, or multi-tasking to “get more done.” So how does the breath fit into all of this? When we remember to take a conscious breath in the moment, we are being conscious to ourselves, and being present in our life.
It taps right into that place of stress or anxiety that sits in the center of our chest or stomach, it wakes up the brain to say “right here, right now!” It also acts as a centering tool to tap into what we are feeling or experiencing right now – a great tool to tap into our body and intuition. BE. PRESENT. NOW. is what the breath is saying.
Here’s some tools to use your breath as a moment of presence:
- Conscious Reminders
Post a note or image on your desk, bathroom mirror, or above your kitchen sink. It could be a word such as BREATHE, or a picture of something tranquil like a lake that reminds you to breathe. Hang something in your car that reminds you to breathe such as a pendant. We need reminders!!
- The Breath
When you notice the image or remember to, take a deep inhale, filling all the corners of your lungs to maximum capacity, and slowly release exhaling through your nose or mouth. Then do it again. I encourage you to take three of these deep breaths to tap into your body. To become present.
Notice how you feel inside. What I’m referring to is your emotional state of being. First notice the physical sensation of the body (tightness, openness, nausea, light), then notice the emotion present (happiness, anxiety, gratitude, sad, etc.). Be present, breathe into this feeling and open to whatever it is. This is your human experience in this moment.
- And Breathe again
If it’s too much to go into the body, take one more deep inhale and continue on with your day. Each time you stop and notice, and breathe, you become present to your life. The benefits? Feeling more relaxed, more peaceful, and happier.
Categories: Meditation & Mindfulness