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Awareness to the Breath

Updated: Oct 5, 2019

Ever feel like there are just too many things to do, but not enough time to get it done? Even worse, there are soooo many things to do and you become so frustrated that you do not even know where to begin? All of a sudden your body goes into panic mode. You become irritable, unproductive, and resentful.

Well, I think it is safe to say that many of us have been in the same situation. Here is some advise that we would like to offer: Just Breathe. I know you are breathing, but take a few moments and bring awareness to your breath. Sounds counterproductive? You already have so many things to do and you are being asked to do one more thing. Yes! That is the key.

Maybe your amygdala has taken over and your body and mind are stressed out and can’t respond appropriately or respond at all. Instead you are reacting (emotionally) to situations. You see, bringing awareness to the breath for a few minutes will help decrease your anxiety. It will allow you a few moments to regain composure. To settle the amygdala (which begins to activate fight or flight), and to put you back on track. This time calmer with a sense of direction.

When stressed or anxious...just breathe.

So, how do you bring awareness to the breath? Simply sit upright on a chair with your feet flat on the floor or in lotus position breathe normally. To bring awareness to the breath you can choose to focus on any of the following. If you choose to focus on counting: Start with a deep exhalation, count how long it takes you to inhale and how long it takes you to exhale. You can choose to focus on how the air goes in through your nostrils nice and cool and comes out a bit warmer. Or you can choose to focus on which nostril is bringing in more air, the left or the right (right nostril breathing increases energy while left nostril breathing is more calming).

Thoughts will enter your mind. Your mind may take you to the past or may lead you to think about the future and everything that you have to do (instead of sitting and breathing). That is ok. Your job, is to observe the thoughts. Know that they have entered and slowly watch them go, simply by bringing your awareness back to the breath. Do not judge yourself or your thoughts, simply observe them. Know that they are a part of you but they do not define who you are.

Bringing awareness to the breath is something you can do anywhere while sitting at home, waiting in line at the store, waiting in a parked car, etc. If possible set aside the same time everyday to just breathe. If you are starting off you may want to start doing this for 2-5 minutes. Like most things in life, the more you practice the easier it will become and eventually the longer you will want to sit and breathe.

It sounds so simple…but simplicity truly works.

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