The breath is something that just seems to happen, and so we sometimes take it for granted. But so often our breath, as a result of stress is short, shallow and abrupt. Conscious breathing – paying attention to each inhale and exhale – brings awareness and depth to the breath. That results in relaxation and calm. Try this easy exercise to reconnect yourself with the breath.
Lying on the back, or seated comfortably, rest one hand on the belly, one on the chest. As you inhale, first expand the belly, then the ribs, and finally the chest. Fill up big, without strain. Experience fullness and pause. Then release, exhaling, allowing the chest, then the ribs, and finally the belly to contract. Repeat eight to ten times with the hands in place. Allow there to be no rush. Be patient and experience the breath fully.
When complete, rest and feel into the calm. Bring this technique into your everyday life – when in traffic, before a stressful moment or whenever you need to find peace.