Life starts with a breath. And so does equanimity.
The ability to breathe deeply in order to calm ourselves is a skill we all possess. It’s innate. Many of us just lose the capacity somewhere along the way.
Breathing is easy to take for granted!
So how do you nail the perfect deep breath to restore balance? Here’s what works for me.
1. Recognize how you are currently breathing. Likely shallow.
2. Find a quiet place, sit down, and breath in deeply through your nose.
3. Your hand should be placed on your lower stomach and you should feel your belly rise.
4. Hold the breath ever so slightly, two seconds or so.
5. Exhale evenly through your nose (or your mouth if you prefer)
And so it begins.
Don’t force it. Don’t judge yourself. If it doesn’t work well, try again later or tomorrow or the next day.
What you want to notice is how your body feels after a series of deep breaths and strive for that feeling throughout your day.
Practice makes perfect, and like any “skill,” deep breathing can take some work until you get there. With a little work, you will be able to summon a single breath to help turn things around, regardless of your environment or setting. You can learn more about the physiology of a deep breath here.
Trust me. I was a classic shallow breather and would have never thought that I could master the power of breath to stay relaxed and calm. It sounds so simple, so silly. Almost too good to be true. But it works. Always.
Feel free to share your deep breathing experiences in the comments section.