This summer, my goal has been to really sink into mindfulness and make it even more of a daily habit for myself. I try to start each morning by getting up early, going out onto my deck and do some kind of meditation exercise. Sometimes it is a guided meditation (using the Calm app which I love so much!) or sometimes I just spend time listening to the birds and the sounds of summer.
One thing that I have noticed is just how bad I am at breathing! I recently listened to a podcast all about breathing and how many of us walk around breathing short, shallow breaths. It is a habit caused by a number of factors such as anxiety, trying to suck in our bellies, busy life styles, etc. However, if you just take a moment and really concentrate on how you breathe, you will find that one small change can make a world of difference.
Take just a few minutes and count how long you take for an inhale and exhale. Count out your inhale and make sure that your exhale is equal to it. If you inhale for a count of 3, your exhale should also be at least a count of 3 or more. Do this for just a few minutes and see if you feel any different. See some of my earlier blog posts to better understand how this works to calm you!
I teach my students breathing techniques to help calm themselves before tests or in situations where they are feeling anxious. Recently, I have read a number of articles about how the coach of the soccer team in Thailand that was trapped in the cave taught the boys breathing techniques and meditations to help keep them calm during their frightening ordeal. Imagine if it can work in a situation like that how it can help our students navigate the trials of school and life!