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“I just relax my body, unscrunch my face, unclench my jaw, breath and smile, and that’s all I need to get the world in order again.” – Leo Babauta

Breathing DeeplyRight now, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, pause for a moment – just a moment. Close your eyes and do a body scan. You’re scanning for tension, stress, breath and heart rate, and body temperature. Where are your muscles tense? Are your shoulders raised? Drop them. Is your jaw clenched or are you holding your stomach? Release them. Is your breathing shallow or deep?

Let it all go. Uncross your legs, sit up straight, and take few slow, deep breaths - what I like to call the “Stop. Breathe. Relax. Repeat” (SBRR) Method. The chaos of the world can wait a few minutes. And sometimes, that chaos doesn’t seem so intense after a few cleansing breaths. Breathe in through your nose while counting slowly to 5, and out through your mouth while counting slowly to 5.  What you’re doing right now is decreasing your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure, increasing circulation, quieting your mind, and improving your concentration. Pretty neat, right? You don’t need to sit cross-legged on the floor with a special mat in a formal yoga or meditation class to reap the benefits of a few deep breaths!

Just let it go. So often, especially when we run from activity to activity, we aren’t paying attention to what our bodies are telling us, and they are quite informative. Holding muscles tight and breathing shallowly for long periods of time can cause significant distress on our bodies and lead to physical and mental health problems. The good news is that being aware of, and connected to, our bodies is one simple way to care for ourselves in a hectic world. With some practice, we can become quite good at letting go. Learning to be more at peace throughout the day brings tremendous benefits that your body will thank you for. Try to build in just a few minutes of the SBRR method each day and take notice of any changes. Wishing you peace today, and every day!

 

 

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