Conscious Breathing

This is part of a series looking at specific ways you can handle the chaos, the constant demand and activity that modern life seems to generate. As one of my students said to me yesterday 'I feel like I'm constantly running!'
One of the things that tends to happen when we have a great list of things that have to be done, is that we get into our heads. Instead of being focused on the activity we're doing now, there is always at the back of our minds the next thing that needs to be done, and the next and the next….! And it causes huge stress. And diminishes our productivity and effectiveness.

A way to manage that tendency is to reconnect with your body through your breath. I call it Conscious Breathing. You need both feet flat on the floor and your weight evenly distributed. When you notice that you're becoming tense, thinking about the next thing, check in with your feet.

Take a breath… soften your knees…and breathe out…softening your jaw, your throat your shoulders. Consciously relax, bring your awareness down: into your body; into your feet. Many people find it helpful to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth to help the relaxation process. Take 2 or 3 breaths to calm and centre you.

As you return to the task in hand, keep that awareness through your feet. Imagine you're breathing in and out through your feet. Pretend!

You're bringing the part of your mind that was worrying about the next thing that needs to be done into conscious connection with your feet and with your breath. Conscious Breathing. You will find as you practise this, that over time you will learn to retain that awareness while you get on and do other things.

Like any skill, it's best to practise and master it before the emergency when you really need it!

I suggest that you find ways to practise conscious breathing as you go about your day. I have made some suggestions below. Choose one that appeal to you – put up some post-it notes to remind you and get going. Once that becomes second nature – choose another

Try conscious breathing when:

  • You go through a doorway
  • After you finish a phone call
  • Any time you have to wait – eg at traffic lights,
  • When you finish a task, before starting the next.
Choose some ways and put your own suggestions in the comment box below. Your ideas will help others. So will feedback as to how you're finding this practice.

See you next week.



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