When you need a moment to focus and re-center in a high-stress situation, exercise the practice of deep breathing. Deep breaths relax your muscles, improve the delivery of oxygen, release endorphins and improve detoxification. It also helps your body and mind stay in the moment. Here are some tips on how you can remain mindful of your breathing:
Practice yoga on a daily basis to enforce good breathing habits. Make it into the yoga studio as often as possible for increased support and guidance. The instructor and your classmates are an excellent community that can help you. Awareness within your practice is key, as it keeps you in tune with your body and focused on your breath. Your instructor can spot discrepancies in your posture and breathing that you might not be aware of. His or her correction trains your body and mind for good breathing habits.
If you can’t make it into the studio, use an audible yoga app or video that prompts your attention toward your breath.
Set alarms on your phone or email as a friendly reminder for an assessment of your breathing. Set the alarms for different times every day, so you don’t expect or anticipate the alarm. Once you receive your reminder, assess the manner of your breathing. Identify your posture and analyze your current emotions and frame of mind. Correct your breathing with some basic 5 to 10 minute exercises. Focus only on your breath. Place your hand on your abdomen and notice the rise and fall of your breath. Count your breaths until you reach 10 without a break in concentration.
Spire is a wearable device that tracks your respiratory patterns. The device and app are compatible with the iPhone 5s. The device clips onto your belt or bra and recognizes when you are stressed or tense. When it notices this, it provides you with a gentle reminder to take a deep breath and offers soothing exercises. The app coaches you in your awareness and guides you toward a more calm and balanced state. It helps you lower your blood pressure, reduce tension and increase endorphins through controlled and deep breathing.
Meditation is another activity that helps you practice deep breathing. Meditation is a time when you purely focus on the moment and the state of your breathing. It is a wonderful supplemental activity to yoga, as it helps you establish proper breathing before you integrate body movement.
Set a regular time for your meditation practice, such as after you’ve had your morning coffee, so it becomes ingrained in your routine. You can practice meditation in your home, at the office or in your car, and it takes as little as 10 minutes for a session. The awareness of the breathing sensation is the object of meditation. If you are new to meditation, use an app or audible guide, like Headspace, to help you.