SEVEN DAY BREATHING ROUTINE
Breathing is the foundation on which holistic balance is built.
Using the skill of ‘breathing’ will assist you with mental, emotional, physical, and social stability. If you let it, the relaxation and self-control that comes with a helpful breathing practice can change your life. But first you have to actually try the techniques so you can see what works for you. Helpful breathing, like any other skill (e.g. critical analysis, art, music, sports) must be practiced, but you’re not going to practice unless you experience the benefit this exercise will provide.
In this exercise you are not committing to a formal breathing routine every day for the rest of your life. It means making a 7 day commitment to yourself that you will accomplish the goal of exploring how ‘helpful breathing’ might help you.
This is the practice:
- Every day for 7 days (set a ‘breathing’ reminder on your phone for a 7 day period).
- Decide on 2 specific times (e.g. – morning, p.m.) that fit for your life and set your alarm for those times.
- On the morning of the 1st day:
Look at a clock for 60 seconds while you pay attention to & count the number of your breaths
- at your normal rate of breathing. Jot down the number: ________________
- Now, while breathing rhythmically and through your nose, slow down and deepen your breathing (to about half the number of your previous count - if possible 6 to 9 breaths)
- After the first day there is no need to use the clock to time your breathing; just practice 6 to 9 slow breaths when your alarm sound.
- Sitting comfortably, but straight so your lungs can inflate
- Breath through your nose
- Breathing in - Count to 3 as you expand your rib cage & diaphragm - slowly and comfortably
- Be mindful to focus on how it feels physically and emotionally
- Breathing out - Count to 5 as you slowly and softly push all of the remnants from your lungs
- While you count, intentionally relax (focus on how it feels physically and emotionally, and just notice if you are judging yourself for ‘not doing it right’)
- After your 6 to 9 breaths, take a few seconds to think about how that felt
For more detail see the instructional videos on this blog