Breath Awareness… Come Back to Clarity
When our mind is on autopilot and we feel like we are stuck on the hamster wheel of ruminating thoughts, it’s time to pause and get off the wheel. We can do this by using our breath. Our breath is a quick and easy tool to calm the fight-or-flight response and find some clarity amongst the business of the mind.
To begin, find your breath in your body and pay attention to your natural breath as it moves in and out of your body. You don’t have to change it, you just need to find it and stay with it. Observe the breath as it is in this moment. Do this for the next 10 seconds. Then take a moment and notice how your body feels, and notice where the tension is in your body. When you'reready, inhale deeply (but comfortably) through your nose. Imagine or feel the breath filling your chest, lungs and belly and then exhale slowly out your mouth. When you exhale you can even make it audible. As you inhale fully, you can imagine bringing in light and calming energy, and as you breath out, feel the body relax and let go of tension. Keep going with this breath…long full inhale and long slow exhale.
Sometimes sighing on the exhale feels really good. As you continue to do this, make sure it feels comfortable for you. You don't want to be breathing so deeply that you feel dizzy or light headed. Continue breathing this way for six rounds. It will only take you 30 seconds or so.
When you feel complete with this breath awareness exercise, stop and notice the body and notice the mind. See if you feel a bit more calm and can find some clarity around your thoughts. It helps if you practice everyday as a reminder. Either way, what I like about this is your breath is always available for you. You can do this breathing anytime, anywhere. You don't have to be in a room in your home. You can keep your eyes open and do it as you’re walking down the street, sitting at your computer or waiting in line at the store.
With a little practice you will be able to use breath awareness as a tool to find calm and clarity in those moments when your mind is on autopilot and the hamster wheel feels like a tilt-a-whirl.