Deep breathing is a great way to calm anxious minds and bodies. Plus, it can create a moment to be mindful. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the here and now.
We spend so much time focusing on the future.
- Can we finish our “to do” list?
- Will I do well on tomorrow’s test?
- How am I going to get the kids to dance and soccer and band and a play date?
We also often get stuck in the past.
- Was that the best decision for my family?
- Why didn’t I save that money?
- Should I have said that differently?
Mindfulness can take us out of these fretful states and help us be present where we are right now. It gives us a chance to consider the moment we’re in – what we’re doing and how we’re feeling right now. Plus, research shows a myriad of benefits that stem from mindfulness practices, such as increased positive affect and concentration, as well as decreased anxiety and depression.
Take a moment to be mindful while practicing the Box Breathing technique:
- Inhale to the count of 4
- Pause, gently holding your breath, for the count of 4
- Exhale to the count of 4
- Pause for 4 again
Repeat this cycle 5 times while assessing how you are feeling – physically, mentally, and emotionally.