It’s amazing how much of our lives we go through without giving any thought to our breath, and while it’s ideal that we keep ourselves alive without having to think about our breath, paying more attention to it can bring us a lot of benefits. Today, try belly breathing, and stay more in touch with your breath throughout the day.
- Sit comfortably in a chair, feet flat on the floor and note the level of tension you’re feeling or not feeling. (or, even better if you’re at home, lie comfortably on your back, with a pillow under your head, your knees bent and your back flat).
- Place one hand on your belly and inhale while you slowly count to 4.
- Expand your belly as much as you can – like a balloon.
- Hold for the count of 4. Then slow exhale to the count of 4, just letting all the air out of the balloon.
- As you exhale, just feel your belly fall, and feel yourself letting go of tension. Allow your whole body to just let go (you might visualize your arms and legs going loose and limp like a rag doll).
- Keep repeating the belly breathing to the slow count of 4.
- Optional: each time you exhale, you may introduce a simple mantra such as “I am relaxed”, “I am calm”, “I’m at peace”, “I’m letting go”, or any other relaxing phrase silently to yourself. When your mind wanders, just gently bring your attention back to the counting and belly breathing.