How often do you focus on your breathing? Seriously, pay attention to it? Do you pay attention to the temperature of the air when it enters or exits your lungs, the duration of your inhale or exhale, or which nostril receives more air at any given time?
Placing your hand on your stomach will help you become more conscious of the process. Relax and take a deep breath in through your nose. Your belly will rise as you breathe in. Then take a breath and softly exhale. When you exhale, your belly returns to its original position.
You can also use different rhythms and patterns to practise conscious breathing. Breathe faster or slower, shallowly or deeply, and make your inhale longer than your exhale, then reverse the process, taking two inhales and one exhale, or vice versa. Both of these things will help you become more conscious of your breath in the current moment, as well as the various ways you might breathe under stress or in other situations.
In a peaceful room or place, practise mindful breathing. Avoid being interrupted by phones or other electronic equipment. Not only will you be able to completely concentrate on your breathing, but you will also be able to hear it more clearly. You could hear different sounds in your breath that you didn’t hear before.
When you combine meditation with mindful breathing, the practise becomes even more effective. Although it’s awesome that you can do mindful breathing while doing other activities, meditation increases the perception of the air and helps you to really understand the difference it creates while doing it and after you’ve finished.
Conscious breathing is a simple practise that can be taught. It has the potential to improve many aspects of your life. How do you not give this a try when it’s so simple?