need to relax? try taking a breathSo often, people ask me for simple techniques that can have large impacts on reducing stress in their day-to-day routines. People are usually surprised when I reply by asking, “When was the last time you focused your attention on your breathing deeply?” You may be thinking, “Breathing, really?” In today’s busy, fast-paced world, people often run on auto-pilot and forget to breathe deeply, which affects them physically, mentally and emotionally. Focusing our attention on our breath helps us to slow down and be present with our experience in the moment, rather than thinking about things in the past or our future.

I invite you to take a couple of minutes with me right now to nurture yourself by slowing down and breathing with me. Here’s what to do:

  1. Breathe in through your nose and count up to five.
  2. Next, hold your breath for five seconds.
  3. Then, breathe out for five counts.
  4. Hold your breath for another five seconds.
  5. Repeat this five times.

If breathing in, holding, breathing out, and holding to the count of five is too difficult, start with three seconds and work your way up to five. This is great way to start and end your day. You can also practice this breathing technique when you are standing in long lines at the supermarket, stuck in traffic or while watching television. It’s such a simple thing and yet I’ve found it to be a wonderful break to the stress in my day.

I’d love to hear from you and your experiences with this breathing technique so please leave your comments below… and don’t forget to breathe.