Anxiety is rude. But we’ve learned you can actually kill it, with kindness (to yourself!).
Your own breath has the power to reduce stress and increase calmness and clarity--all of which can make you feel happier in your day to day. Try this simple breathing exercise and know that it gets easier and more impactful the more that you do it.
Before you begin, know that how long you do the exercise is up to you. If necessary, set a timer for the length of time you are able to give yourself (be as generous as you can be!).
- Make a Space
Find a comfortable place and sit or lie down in a posture where you’re comfortable, but not so comfortable that you could fall asleep. You should try to keep a straight spine, but otherwise relax your body.
- Find Your Breath
You can close your eyes, or leave them slightly open. Take slow breaths, in and out. As you do this, loosen your body from your head to your toes.
- Be Aware
Notice the sensations throughout your body — the warmth, the coolness, any discomfort. Be aware of them, but keep your body still.
Pick one sensation — such as the feeling of your breath going in and out — and devote your attention to it. Just focus on that.
- Don’t Give Up
When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to the breath. Your mind may wander again. If it does, just take notice and simply return your attention back to your breath.
When you’re ready, open your eyes.
The calming mindfulness you find during the breathing technique can have lasting effects throughout your day. If at any point you become aware of your calmness slipping away, you can always return to your breath.