Day 4: Conscious Breathing Restores Calm
Can’t keep up? Pause and take a few deep breaths.
Why it Matters
You can always use breath to calm you down and get perspective. In fact, breathing is often referred to in a metaphorical way. If you feel stressed, you might say that you need to catch your breath. If you feel euphoric, you might say that something or someone takes your breath away.
Breathing meditation is subtle but powerful. This is because the breath calms the autonomic nervous system. When you pay attention to how you’re breathing, you can change it, and when you do, you instantly calm down.
5-Minute Guided Meditation
Notice your inhale and exhale. Pay attention to the sensation in your nostrils as the breath enters and leaves your body. Now add an affirmation to the inhale and exhale. For instance: “Breathing in, I am calm. Breathing out, I feel happy.” Finally, once you’ve created a pattern, connect your inhale with your exhale in a continuous loop. This will energize you. You may even feel your body tingle. In a continuous loop, you do not pause after an inhale or an exhale.
The nice thing about breathing meditation is that you can do it without anyone noticing. You can be an island of tranquility in a heated meeting that is bristling with quarreling people.
Featured photo credit: Chilangoco via flickr.com