Just Breathe: Your Daily Balancing Act (Part 1)

How can I find balance when I am juggling so many things?”  This is the question I often hear when I suggest that someone find their inner balance.  This is the question we ponder when we are focused on the outside world and not on inner balance.  When we focus on the outside world, we are focused on all those things that we DO NOT have control over…other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions.  Finding inner balance is about re-focusing on self and what we have control over.  Finding the breath encourages us to be aware of our thoughts, feelings and actions.  When we are focused on all the things we do not have control over, we are simply surviving.  When we turn our focus inward and cultivate balance with the things we can control, then we begin to Thrive!

Just Breathe…and nothing else.

Start with being aware of what your breathing is telling you.

Notice the rhythm of your breathing:

a.   Are you taking shallow breaths in and out?

b.   Are you taking quick breaths in and out?

c.   Are you holding your breath?

Being aware of your breath patterns cultivates awareness of your mind and mood states.  Changes in the rhythm of your breathing are your Red Flags that you are reacting and not responding.    “When you are hungry, you breathe in a special way; when you are busy, you breathe in special way; when you angry, you breathe in a special way, when you are happy, you breathe in a special way….”(1)

Just Breathe.  We hear it all the time, but what does it mean, really?  When you Just Breathe, you breathe deeply, replenishing your mind and body so that you have the energy to engage fully.  When you Just Breathe you expand your mind, thus creating the space to be thoughtful and mindful. When you think clearly and feel fully the experiences/emotions/events in your life, you  become aware and accepting of your needs and wishes.   With this awareness, you begin to set daily and life goals that excite you and you begin to Thrive!

You can balance the demands of your everyday life (and the moments your emotions have been hijacked) and Thrive (instead of reacting and just getting by) when you practice just breathing.   The only thing you are asking your mind and body to do is breathe.  Give your mind permission to be quiet and calm, thus creating room for a more creative and intentional approach to the emotions and tasks that await you.

Practice Just Breathing daily:

1.  Seek out a quiet place and sit comfortably.

2.  Be aware of your breathing.  Notice the feel of breathing in and breathing out

3.  Begin to slowly breathe in deeply, feeling  the clean air entering your body and traveling throughout.  As you breathe out, empty your body of the used-up air by exhaling fully.  Your attention is on the breath..breathe in and breathe out, noticing the rhythm of your breath and feeling the air moving in and out.

4.  As your mind wanders, notice the thoughts, let them go and return to the breathing..breathe in, breathe out.  You may want to say to yourself “I am breathing in and I am breathing out.”

5.  Slowly Breathe In and Breathe Out, Breathe In and Breathe Out….Practice Just Breathing 10 minutes each day and move through your day with intention and thoughtfulness, creativity, energy and patience.

Finding Your Balance:  Just Breathing 10 minutes each day can help you feel energized and clear-headed, and move away from simply surviving the daily grind and towards a Thriving life.  If carving out 10 minutes a day seems too much in the beginning, start with 2-3 minutes and work your way up to 10 minutes.  Find a time that fits your life…before work/school, on your lunch break. upon returning home in the evenings.  Rmember that you already have the tools, so start small, start slow and start with you….just breathe.

 

1. “Paths Are Made By Walking” by Theresa Jacobs-Stewart…If you are interested in exploring more breath practices to  help cultivate a Thriving life, this book is a helpful guidepost.

Posted: Monday, March 12th, 2012 @ 3:20 pm
Categories: Balance.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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