Just One Breath

| Tom Parkes, LCSWA

People are increasingly interested in incorporating meditation into their lives for reasons like spiritual connection, deeper focus, or to simply just feel better. And with apps like Headspace and Calm, it has never been easier to learn how to meditate. However even with genuine intentions, many of us struggle to consistently set aside that 10 or 20 minutes every day to settle into being. This struggle can leave you feeling discouraged and frustrated, further away from the very feelings you wanted to cultivate in the first place. 

If this pattern resonates with you, I invite you to consider a different approach. Try to first start incorporating just one mindful breath at different points throughout your day. What is a mindful breath? It is a breath that gets covered with your awareness from start to finish. Combined with your attention, breathe in slowly through your nose; feel the fresh air fill your lungs as your chest expands. Then effortlessly allow the air to flow out of your mouth as if you were blowing a bubble. This should take somewhere around 10 seconds – even the busiest amongst us has time for that!

The natural transitions between events and situations is a great place to start integrating mindful breaths into your life. We are frequently moving from one thing to another, often feeling as though our minds are one step behind or ahead of our bodies. Even just one deep breath can provide a natural reset into the present moment. 

Some ideas for when to practice:

  • Before getting out of bed in the morning
  • As you first get in the shower
  • Whenever you get in your car to drive
  • Prior to taking your first bite at mealtime
  • When you have to wait in a line

As you incorporate this into your life, you may naturally develop an increased appreciation for shifting inwards and connecting with your breath. You may begin to notice how often you are on autopilot and discover the power contained within mindful awareness. As a result, implementing a daily meditation practice can come from a new perspective. Then, setting aside 10 minutes to connect with your breath may shift from feeling like a chore to being an activity that you truly value. 

Today's the day to make a change.