Monday Morning Advice: Taking Time to Breathe

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We all know that breathing is important – we can’t live without it, of course. And many know that the way we breathe can greatly impact our health. The right breathing exercise can help to reduce stress, calm your nerves, and even lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, if you’re anything like me, taking a second to breathe is a lot tougher than it seems. I’ve actually gotten stressed out trying to do breathing exercises before! 

Taking a second to relax with breathing is a great idea, and a good way to start your morning – even before you reach for your Keurig.

Count

Simply focusing on your breathing by counting your breaths, inhaling in and exhaling out, can help you to hone in on your breathing, allowing you to focus your attention to your breaths.

For me, counting my breaths really helps because paying attention to something simple like this can help to eliminate thoughts of the other things that might be stressing me out. For a couple minutes, the only thing I have to focus on is breathing. And at a time when I have spend so much energy just thinking about the homework I have to do and what time I have to get up for work, thinking about my breathing is a huge rest.

Check out some breathing exercises here:

Pay attention to your abs

Make sure to engage your core with your breathing exercises. For me, taking it slow and actively thinking about my abdomen can help to slow my breathing down as I consider the process of air going into my body and coming back out.

Here’s one you can fit right into your morning routine:

Get in a group

Meditation might seem really intimidating, especially if you’re just beginning with breathing exercises (which almost seems ridiculous, since we all breathe every day!). But hearing someone guide you through breathing can be super helpful. If you’re someone who’s distracted easily, going into an environment that’s intentionally quiet, peaceful, and there to promote breathing and well-being can be a good way to get into your breathing routine.

AU has yoga classes that you can attend, or join Alicia Mandac and Marianne Norman from CAS and SIS advising offices, respectively, every Monday from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Hughes Formal Lounge for Mindful Mondays.

Photo: Flickr

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