The Power of Breath

I’d like to share an incredibly simple practice with you that I have been using for a while now. The benefits are extraordinary and the practice is ridiculously easy. The only necessary step is that you implement it. It involves using the breath to accomplish three majorly helpful outcomes that you may have thought you needed more complicated tools to accomplish. First i’ll break down the benefits that I’ve noticed and then I’ll explain the practice. 

 

1. Soothe an overactive mind:

If you’re living and participating in Western society these days chances are you have times where it feels like your mind is receiving 20 radio stations at once. Nonstop thoughts, chatter and mental noise that makes it hard to focus or follow a specific train of thought for very long. Whenever I’m feeling this way I make it a point to implement this practice. It can help to slow down the mental chatter and bring greater clarity and focus. I’ve found that the amount of time needed to achieve the clarity I’m seeking depends on how fast my mind is moving. 

 

2. Relax the body:

The effect of this practice brings greater relaxation to the body almost instantly. I usually notice my shoulders dropping, my jaw loosening, and any muscles that are unnecessarily tense start to ease up.

 

3. Overall sense of peace: 

This ties in quite closely with #1 but is worth mentioning since “peace” is sometimes thought of either only conceptually or as something that is accomplished by controlling external circumstances and conditions. Peace is really something that we foster internally. When utilized consistently this practice certainly leads to a greater sense of peace. 

 

The practice:

Slow. Your. Breath. Breathe deeply, slowly, gently and let your focus be on your breath for a few seconds or minutes given your situation. (Yes this is similar to meditation but doesn’t have to be thought of in that sense exclusively.) 

Whenever I can feel that I’m rushing around either physically or mentally I always stop and take just a few long deep breaths and make a point to relax my body.  You can even mentally say “relaxxxx” to yourself while doing this if you feel it helps. You may be thinking “Well what if I’m rushing around because I have stuff that needs to get done?!” and I promise you that taking the time to slow down and breathe doesn’t mean that you don’t get things done. It means you are putting your mental and physical well-being at the top of your priorities list, right where they should be. The result is that you feel better and are more focused while taking care of your daily responsibilities. 

Also I often find that when I take the time to just breathe something will pop into my head that I’d either forgotten to do or hadn’t thought of doing before-hand. When your mind is clear it makes space for helpful impulses to arise that help guide you through your day.

Try it! And let me know how it goes. I hope this helps : )

 

Posted on February 13, 2016 .