“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Learning to pause during the day and take a few cleansing breaths is a great practice. It’s not only good to just chill for a minute or so anytime, it’s also an excellent way to calm down when you notice you’re becoming worried and anxious.
Here’s the video that goes along with this post:
If you want to get a little into the science behind why relaxation breathing is so good for us, here’s an article that explains it nicely. It’s titled: How Breathing Calms Your Brain and Other Science-Based Benefits of Controlled Breathing by David DiSalvo for Forbes.com.
The article lists some of the good benefits relaxation breathing has on our minds and bodies. Like bringing more oxygen to our lungs, brain and all parts of our body; slowing our heart rate; regulating blood pressure; and boosting our immune system.
The trick is to make relaxation breaths a regular practice. The more you keep incorporating a good practice like this into your days, the better. Just start sneaking them in here and there throughout the day.
Here are the steps to a basic relaxation breath:
- Inhale slowly and gently through your nose, bringing the air all the way in as if it’s filling up your belly. Expand your belly like it’s a balloon.
- Breathe out slowly through pursed lips as if you are letting the air out of a balloon. Make sure to get all the air out. Another good way of exhaling is dropping open your mouth and breathing out from your throat.
- Pause for a few seconds.
- Then repeat.
- Repeat a few more times or as many times as you’d like.
- You can pause in between in and out breaths if you’d like.
“Think of relaxing breaths as being for your mind and all the cells of your body as what water is cleansing and refreshing.”
Take relaxation breaths up a notch:
- You can take relaxing breaths up a notch by imagining during your in breaths that you are inhaling fresh cleansing air. Pause to picture it filling every cell of your body. Feel it refreshing your whole mind and body.
- And on your out-breaths, imagine that all your fearful, worrisome thoughts, images, and feelings are being released out of your mind and body with the air that is coming out.
Take relaxation breaths up a notch further:
- You can take this up a notch even further by visualizing during your in-breaths that you are inhaling confidence and inner strength or anything else you might be wanting in that moment. It could be peace. It could be love. It could be forgiveness, kindness, understanding. Anything.
- And on your out-breaths, same as above. Just imagine anything you don’t want is being released out of you with the air that is coming out. It could be your scary thoughts that keep popping in. It could be negative beliefs or negative thinking like criticizing or blaming. Anything you want to imagine getting rid of.
Thank you for reading!
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