Of all the tools and strategies available to us, there is one that always reigns supreme. Somehow we gloss over it, don’t realize it’s greatness. It’s something we often take for granted, as we do it subconsciously, without effort. That supreme tool is breathing. Conscious, deep breathing – on purpose.
Some call it centering, some say mediation, some say mindfulness. I’m not hung up on what you call it, I simply want you to make time to do it. Breathing on purpose means slow, centering, deep breaths. Choosing, consciously to fill up your diaphragm, hold the breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhale the breath until you are empty – then begin the next round. The benefits can create countless positive effects in yourself and in your life. Before I tell you all the awesome ways, let’s get clear on a few things.
Thing #1: Meditation is the practice of reaching ultimate consciousness and concentration. Therefore, you can be meditative in many ways; deep, purposeful breathing, coloring, mindfulness, yoga, and tai chi are great examples.
Thing #2: Meditation DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE NO THOUGHTS. It does NOT mean you empty your mind. You simply allow the thoughts to float by without attachment or judgement. You observe that they are there without grabbing on to any of them. The magic happens in the space between the thoughts – the gap if you will. As you practice more and more, the gap becomes wider and longer. That space between is pure consciousness, pure peace, pure presence.
Thing #3: You DO NOT need to meditate for an hour, every day for months and months to receive the benefit. Some people feel the effects after their first experience. Meditation offers long and short-term benefits.
So, maybe you’re thinking, seriously? So, conscious breathing can change my life? YES. Change your life. Let’s talk about ALL the things that it can do:
· Silences obsessive thinking
· Calms you down so you respond rather than react
· Alleviates anxiety
· Creates space from yourself
· Cultivates clarity in your life
· Gets you out of your head and dropped in to your heart
· Facilitates healing in your body – physically
· Supports you in rewiring how you think
· Provides increased energy
· Promotes an overall feeling of lightness and gratitude
· Effects how you approach life and how you interact with others
· Aligns you with your higher self
· Decreases feelings of stress and overwhelm
· Works wonders in behavior change and habit shifting
· Promotes brain growth and access to more areas of your brain
Sounds awesome, right? My invitation: Get a pillow, throw it on the floor and sit. Silence your phone, set the timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes and breathe. Focus mindfully on the feeling of the air entering in and out of your nostrils. Feel the air, as you breathe in and out. When you notice a thought, like “what the hell am I doing?” don’t judge it, simply let it float by. Then focus back into the way the feels coming in and out of your nostrils. Before you know it, the alarm with sound and there you go…you meditated. See, you ARE totally amazing!