It is important to learn how to calm your mind and steady your breathing. No matter what situation or environment you find yourself in, you can always focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing, in a consistent way, will help you become centered, present, calm, focused, relaxed, and prepared. It’s like you always have this strategy or tool in your toolbox whenever you need it, wherever you are. You just have to learn to use it.
Feeling tight? Stressed? Nervous? Unfocused? Rattled? Flustered? Anxious?
- Count to yourself “1, 2, 3” as you inhale (so the breath lasts about 3 long seconds), then “1, 2, 3” as you exhale (so the breath lasts about 3 long seconds, then say “1”. Then count “1, 2, 3” as you inhale again and “1, 2, 3” as you exhale and say “2”. Then, continue the pattern “1, 2, 3” in, “1,2,3” out, “3”. Continue going up as many breaths as you can or need to in the amount of time you have.
- I often do this before bed, when I first close my eyes, or a few times before I enter a busy environment.
When you’re focusing on counting and relaxing your breathing, it takes your mind off of the stressful or anxious thoughts you were having.