Through consciously stopping to become aware of our breath, we calm not only our bodies but our minds as well. Anyone can begin reaping the benefits with the simplest relaxation techniques. The goal is to just stop — even for just 15 seconds to a minute — and to focus attention onto our breathing. Here are a few easy tips. 

1) Decide you are ready to feel peaceful. Sounds basic, but it works. Tell yourself: I’m stopping everything for the moment to give myself the gift of peace and calm.

2) Get comfortable.  Stand, sit, lay down, close your eyes or watch a flame, nature or anything that you find comforting. 

3) Release tension by observing which parts of your body feel the most tensed. Make them more tense for a moment, then consciously release that tension. Tighten the muscles more, then relax them.  If you practice repeating this process, later on you will know how to relax more easily.

4) Breathe in through your nose allowing the air to easily pass through your lungs. You may notice that your diaphragm, abdomen and chest expand more when you breathe through your nose. Try to gently release through you mouth. This may feel awkward at first, but it does help you concentrate on the process of breathing. 

5) Pay attention.  If your mind drifts, remind yourself: I’m breathing and relaxing now. Self-commands are powerful. With a firm reminder, distracting thoughts will soon fade away.

Start with 15 seconds if you’re not sure of this. Build up to a minute. Then try 3-5 minutes. Go bold and test out 15 minutes when you can. Set your timer.  As you practice each day, you may want to perform breathe and relax for a longer time. Soon you will realize that these breathing meditations can really help to clear your mind and increase your focus. By feeling better, your brain also performs better, too.

I’m @DianGriesel aka a perception analyst & strategist; creative attitude disrupter & adjuster; author of The Silver Disobedience Playbook & TurboCharged: The Silver Disobedience Edition; and the blogger & model known as @SilverDisobedience  More info on my websites (search my name) and at Wilhelmina Models.