Something as simple as taking a deep breath can centre you and keep you present in the moment. Breathing is a great way to be mindful in your day to day actions, it doesn’t require any expensive equipment and you can do it anywhere in the world, at any time.
Meditation is not always the best place to start when trying to increase mindful moments if you are prone to anxiety meditation can actually increase these feeling when you first start. It is better to ease into meditation rather than expecting to simply jump straight into a 30-minute meditation session and find inner peace.
Start off with some simple breathing exercises, type ‘breathing exercise’ into google and you will get a 1-minute exercise that helps you visualise your breathing by way of an expanding and contracting circle. The exercise takes only a minute but it will feel like much longer the first couple of times you try it, don’t worry about it, just embrace it and enjoy the sensation of your breath.
Some people find it helpful to visualise their breath as a ball of light or a big balloon that inflates and deflates, while others may use numbers as a guide. Breathing in for a count of 4 seconds, holding your breath for another 4 seconds and then releasing it over the course of 8 seconds is a very simple example. Taking a moment to breathe like this can help you gather your thoughts in stressful situations and calm down any emotional responses you may be having.
If you prefer to go the high tech route there are a myriad of apps that you can download to help you with breathing exercises. Once you have a bit more experience with different exercises try creating your own that are more in tune with your body and self.
If you are feeling nervous about starting breathing exercise we recommend the Breathing Zone app. With the Breathing Zone you are guided through the exercises by audio cues and images, but best of all the app can listen to your breathing and then suggest the best set of exercises for you based on your breathing. If you are hoping to find an app that will allow you to practice in public places, such as on the bus or train, you can set Breathing Zone to give you physical cues such as vibrations. This particular app is available both for iOS and Android devices.
Take a deep breath and just be.