Ask anyone on the street and nine out of 10 would likely say that this has been a stressful year thus far. While we could list all the reasons, the truth is, stress comes from within. It’s that cliché: though you may not have control over the outward factors, what you can control is how you react to them.
Like going to the gym, these breathing exercises can help build and strengthen attentiveness. You’ll be surprised to find how it leads to better decision-making and flexibility in choices too. Learn how to easily activate your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest-and-digest mode, to better manage stress, emotions, and be kinder to ourselves and others.
If you have five minutes
• Take five deep and purposeful breaths. Sink into each breath and be aware of the sensation when performing the breaths.
• Shift your awareness to your sight and name five objects around your vicinity without overthinking.
• Turn your attention to your sense of hearing and notice five different sounds that come from different places.
• Identify five parts of the body that are in contact with an object or a surface.
• List out five things you are grateful for in your life.
• When you’re done, take one deep breath to ground yourself.
If you have 10 minutes
• Set a timer for 10 minutes.
• Remove any possible sources of distraction like notification chimes and vibrations.
• Find a spot to settle in and once you’re comfortable, allow the body to relax to help induce a sense of calm.
• Still your mind by focusing on your breath. Distinguish the various shifts in temperature and air flow around the nasal areas (passages, philtrum, tip of the lip) each time a breath enters and leaves.
• Every time you feel like you might be distracted, gently guide your focus back to the nose area.
• Repeat until the timer is up.
If you have 30 minutes
• Extend on the steps from the 10-minute breathing exercise.
• For days when it is especially hard to focus, try breath counting.
• Count exhalations from one to five continuously, restarting from one after five exhalations.
• Restart from one every time you miscount, overcount, or get distracted.
• Repeat for 30 minutes.
• At the end of the exercise, check in on how you’re feeling. Your body should feel calm.
Continue your holistic journey online with COMO Shambhala By My Side, or get a private session tailored to your needs at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, Delfi, 402 Orchard Road #06-01/02, Singapore 238876.