One of the most common questions I get asked in my practice is “How can I stay calm and centered with everything going on?”
The short answer is by bringing awareness to the breath.
When we get too busy and flustered we often forget to breathe and just be in the moment. When we stand back and become aware of our breathing, it helps to calm the body and mind. This calmness helps us be more aware of our thoughts and feelings and not get swept away by them. Mindful breathing helps to relieve tension and restore energy. It is the perfect antidote to stress. The breath anchors us, reminds us to get out of our minds/thoughts and tune in to our bodies, so we can bring awareness and feeling to our experiences. Quiet mindful breathing helps us connect to every moment which leads to better health. Most relaxation therapies and meditation techniques focus on the breath as part of the process.
Notice how the rhythm of your breathing varies continuously. When we are upset, anxious or exercising our breathing speeds up, when we are relaxed or sleeping, it slows down. Try this now:
Breathe shallowly and see how you feel.
Then breathe deeply and feel the difference.
As breaths come and go, they teach you to let go and go with the flow. And the same could be said about your life, the events also come and go. Nothing stays constant. Everything is changing. It is not possible to control everything and be perfect. So remember to pay attention to your breath!