The Mindful Breath That Will Allow You to Rest

We often breathe without thinking. It comes naturally. We get shortness of breath when we walk up a set of stairs or after we have a long run at the gym. We forget that breathing with a conscious effort and thought process can reduce anxiety and increase mindfulness.

As you focus on your breath and your anxiety decreases, your body immediately feels the effects: your blood pressure decreases, your metabolism decreases, and your levels of nitric oxide increase.

There are many ways to learn conscious and mindful breathing. Many of which require practice. Practice, huh? Yes, of course! Breathing is a practice and art of sorts. Twenty to thirty minutes of abdominal breathing each day triggers the parasymthathetic nervous system, which induces a state of calmness.

Here is one breath exercise to try to reduce anxiety and increase mindfulness.

The Nerve-Purifying Breath

Sit down and allow yourself to rest for a moment. When you are ready, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Hold this breath for as long as you can. Place your right hand up to your nose and your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale slowly and with intention through your left nostril. Take a moment to observe your breath. Notice the feeling of intention and calamity that overcomes your body. Slowly remove your right thumb from your nostril. At the same time, close your left nostril by placing your forefinger against it. Allow your breath to flow naturally. Count slowly, “one, two, three, four five…” When it’s time to breathe in again, inhale through your right nostril. Continue this practice for 20 times each day. Take long breaks in between each breath practice. 

Kristina Caputi