Mindfulness tool and breathing techniques to keep your mind calm, clear and focused.

Sometimes we can be so focused on helping others at work, in our business or at home we can leave ourselves out of the equation when it comes to our health and well being.

A 2019 study, found that student nurses may neglect their own health and wellness needs while training to look after others and this might, in turn, reduce their effectiveness when providing care.

Per ADAA, 40 million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder on a regular basis, making it the most common form of mental illness in the U.S. Mindfulness research shows that mindfulness reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. Anxiety and excessive stress can tax your emotional, mental and your physical health. Stress can cause high cortisol levels, increased risk of a heart attack, digestive distress, muscle tension and insomnia to name a few.

“What worries you, masters you”-John Locke.

By practicing being in the present moment you can experience a greater sense of calm and ease. Naturally, our brains tend to dwell on the past or on the future. When we focus on the past we tend to think about regret and past failures and when we focus on the future, we tend to worry. We’re human and this is normal. However, with practice, you can train your brain to be in the present. Why be in the present? Because by being present you reduce feelings of worry, depression and stress. By practicing being present you increase your clarity of thought, your focus, feelings of calm and quality of attention and presence with yourself and with others.

3 Simple Mindfulness Tools/Breathing Practices To Get Your Mind Calm, Clear and Focused.

Tool #1- Three Minute Mindfulness. Let’s Keep it Simple.

1st Minute: Listen to the sounds around you. What do you hear?

2nd Minute: Focus on your breath as it goes in and as it goes out.

3rd Minute: Observe the sensations in your body (tingling, squirmish, discomfort or tension).

Like waves on a beach, your thoughts will come and go. This is normal. When you notice your mind has drifted, gently bring your attention back to your breath. This is your anchor.

Tool #2. Calming your breath, quiets your mind and calms your body. When you find yourself feeling anxious, worked up or stressed, practice this box breathing exercise to reduce your fight-or flight response.

Box Breathing Exercise:

  • Take 4 slow inhales and exhales.
  • Inhale for 4 counts as you breath in through your nose, Hold for 4 counts.
  • Exhale for 4 counts, pushing the air out of your belly. Hold for 4 counts
  • Ideally repeat 4x or as you are able.

Tool #3-Breathing through Pursed Lips.

This is a tool you can use anywhere. Standing in the line at the grocery store, in your car, while on your computer, upon waking up getting ready for the day or before going to bed. You choose.

  • Inhale through your nose for 2 seconds
  • Exhale with pursed lips like you are blowing on hot tea or hot soup.
  • Your long exhales are the quickest way to induce calm.
  • Repeat as needed. I like to do this one until I feel more relaxed and calm.

A mindfulness practice and breathing techniques can be an effective and powerful way to manage stress and train your brain for clarity, calm and focus.Choose and experiment with these tools and choose the one that works best for you.

Remember it’s a daily practice, not perfection.

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