We all breathe, all the time. So we must know what we are doing, right? Yes and no. Chances are, we are not often practicing deep breathing or being mindful or present in the moment.
There is a lot of research about the many benefits of deep breathing and mindfulness. When we breathe deeply and are mindful, so many positive physical and mental things happen:
- We increase oxygen levels to our brain and the calming part of our nervous system kicks in
- We feel more relaxed and calmer as well as more alert and aware and less stressed
This can help us manage better in the moment when we are angry, worried, sad, or struggling. It also has long-term benefits as well related to our mood, our thinking, our behaviour and our general ability to cope and manage big feelings or hard situations in the future.
The goal for this week:
Spend at least five minutes each day doing some deep breathing and mindfulness activities
Here are some tips:
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position in a quiet spot where there is not a lot going on that will distract you. You might want to close your eyes.
- While you are breathing deeply, try to just keep your mind quiet and calm. Be present in the moment. Just let your thoughts come and go. Sometimes counting your inhales and exhales can help. Don’t be surprised if it seems challenging or the time feels long – that is normal.
- Try to focus on your breath or the connection between your body and the chair or the floor.
- Listening to guided breathing and mindfulness Apps can be a good way to start.
- Don’t be hard on yourself! There is no perfect way to do these activities. Whatever you do is okay! Try these breathing practices so that you will be ready to use them to help you when you are angry, worried, or stressed.
- It’s up to you!
Try these breathing practices so that you will be ready to use them to help you when you are angry, worried, or stressed:
- Breathing | HCDSB
- Square breathing for young children | WRDSB Psychology Department
- Flower and Candle breathing | WRDSB Psychology Department
- Get Your Mind Ready with Mind Yeti | MindYeti
Learn about mindfulness and give these a try:
- What is Mindfulness? | WRDSB Psychology Department
- Practicing mindfulness | WRDSB Psychology Department
- Apps such as Calm, Headspace, UCLA Mindful, MyLife and many more.
Looking for more general information and activities? Check out:
Categories: Psychology Services