“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
On average, a person at rest takes about 16 breaths per minute. This means we breathe about 960 breaths an hour, and 23,040 breaths a day.
Thousands of opportunities per day to focus on our breathing, if even for just a few minutes, but how often do we actually spend any time at all paying attention to the breath?
There are countless breath techniques out there that can be put into practice in our lives. We will be sharing a number of these techniques and strategies on this blog over the next few weeks. However, as a basic starting point, a great breath awareness practice that you can put into action right away is this:
The act of creating a longer exhale than inhale allows us to tap into a more relaxed state. It won’t necessarily take away anxiety or stress, but it can help to lessen the intensity of an anxious and stressed state in that moment. The purpose isn’t to completely eliminate anxiety and stress or emotions that may be negatively impacting us, but drawing more attention to the breath and consciously investing even 1-2 minutes into some type of breath work is a healthy practice for all of us.
At minimum, try this out at least once a day for the next week and note whether or not it has any impact at all on how you feel and/or think. Just 1-2 minutes! That’s all it takes.
Neila Steele & Andy Vasily