We live in a world that’s ruled by schedules, serious time pressure and deadlines. It’s really not always easy to keep a calm mind during our chaotic, hectic everyday lives.
Even at night, when we should get sleep, our minds often still are active – we’re planning, preparing, analyzing. All the things we shouldn’t do but somehow cannot quit. It’s important to slow down and stop sometimes, otherwise we will be pulled into this downward vortex that only leads to even more stress and pressure. Our body starts sending us signals that we continuously ignore: insomnia, racing heartbeat, respiratory distress, even depression, to just name a few.
To work against that it’s time to actively take some deep breaths and to focus on the silence that reveals itself when we start paying attention to the breathing. It’s time to take some deep, cleansing breaths.
Here’s a little meditation exercise that will help you calm down and focus on destressing your body and mind:
Breathing Meditation to calm down the mind and body
1. Preparing the space
Choose a time of the day when you won’t be disturbed for the next 30 minutes at least. Maybe early in the morning before you go to work or have to take care of your children, or maybe late in the evening before you go to bed works best for you.
Find a calm space where you won’t be interrupted or where you can lock the door behind you and just be alone for a little while. You can create such a space in your home or you just need a little corner of a room and make it comfortable with pillows, candles and whatever else reminds you of relaxation. Come back to this place whenever you want to escape from the stress. Scents are wonderful helpers, too, for example a fresh lavender-bouquet or aromatic vanilla oil can help to calm down.
2. Start breathing
Just breathe deeply and slowly. Breathe in and out. Remember to take one breath at a time. One slow breath after another, and you will feel how yourself will calm down physically and also in your mind. Let the ininhale and exhale be equally long.
3. Visualize the breath
Breathe in the light and breathe out the darkness.
The light stands for positive thoughts, happy feelings and wonderful moments as well as great memories. Feel how you inhale these good feelings, and pause a moment to keep it and spread it in your whole body.
The darkness symbolizes stress, the energy suckers of our daily routine and negative experiences. You can even think of a nasty dark cloud that emits your nose or mouth and fades into nothing.
Focus on the feeling of the breath, how soothing it is and how good it feels to release all the heavy stuff. Enjoy how fulfilling and relaxing it is to feel the now.
Repeat this small little practice whenever you need it. Go for 5 minutes a day if you don’t have more time, the important thing is that you do it daily. Try it out and you’ll soon feel the results of a daily active breathing exercise.
Try this out in the nature, too – it will work wonders, promise…!