Just Breath

Just Breath

The holiday season should be a time of joy. Unfortunately, for many it is a time of extra stress. Even in strong economic times, people often feel unrealistic pressure to please others. Shopping, travel, and crowds add to the financial burden. With all the hustling around, vacation time flys by way to fast. To avoid getting sucked into the whirlwind, it is important to keep ourselves centered and in the present.

Staying in the moment can be extremely challenging even in normal circumstances. We are faced with many distractions. Time passes quickly and must be planned. We have to think about the future. So how do we stay in the present? There are many exercises to help. We do the easiest one all day without a thought. Oxygen is our single-greatest physical need, yet we often take breathing for granted. Focusing on our breath can have many benefits. Taking just one minute to block out everything and concentrate on breathing is a great way to immediately be in the now. Inhaling a full breath for four to five seconds, holding it for two or three seconds, exhaling for four to five seconds, pausing for two seconds, and then repeating two or three times quiets the mind, relaxes the body, and comforts the soul. This technique is great before taking a test or anytime you want to relax or just be in the moment (lines at the mall, traffic, even airport security). I even used it today at the dentist.

Using our breath to relax can be even simpler. Just taking a moment to focus on a few full breaths in and out can give us the mental break and the extra oxygen we need to clear our minds and return to the present. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong are great exercises that incorporate mind, body and spirit. I highly recommend you investigate adding one or more of theses exercises to your daily or at least weekly routine. They also teach many valuable lessons and techniques in breathing. Breathing in positive and breathing out negative cleanses and revives our entire system, body, mind, and spirit. Like the waves in the ocean, the ebb and flow of our own breath sets the rhythm of life

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