The beauty of this exercise is that it can be done at any time, requiring only a minute or two.
Our breath is one of the most powerful tools we possess for health, but in the rush of our days, we forget to breath deeply. The good news is, our breath is always with us and we can reconnect with it and calm our body in any moment we wish. Following is a brief technique of noticing the breath. The beauty of this exercise is that it can be done at any time, requiring only a minute or two. As the deep breathing brings your stress hormones (cortisol, norepinephrin, adrenalin) down, it effectively becomes the antidote to stress and brings calm to your body and mind.
Sitting in stillness, breathe deeply in through your nose then very slowly out through your mouth. Again, in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. Close your eyes and keep this breathing going as you relax your feet….. and your toes. Again, breathing in and out, relax your hands….and your fingers. Continuing to breathe, relax your shoulders and your neck……relax the muscles in your face. Notice the feeling of relaxation in your body and the feeling of calm in your mind…..and when you are ready, return to your day refreshed.
Try three deep breaths in and out: When you first awake, when in the grocery store line, at a stop light, in the car pool pick up line, before sitting down to a meal, during a quick break at work, or anytime you have 15-30 seconds. Your body/mind will thank you!
Gerre Schwert, 2014 National Mother of the Year®, is a clinical social worker who is certified in oncology and mind-body medicine. She does counseling and support groups with cancer patients and their families at CHI-Memorial Cancer Center in Chattanooga. Gerre and her husband, Doug, have six children and eleven grandchildren in their blended family.