We are going back to the breath in this post. Becoming aware of our breath is the most important exercise in mindfulness. It’s that simple.
Breathing is at the heart of mindfulness. It grounds us in the moment of inhale and through our exhale. Our breath is our most trusted guide, if we can learn the practice of being attuned to the different emotions that come through with each flow of air in our bodies.
Slow exhale is a breathing exercise that triggers our parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is referred to as the rest and digest system, because of its ability to slow our heart rates, relax our sphincter muscles, and aids our intestinal activity.
How to do the Slow Exhale Breathing Exercise:
- Allow yourself to relax in a seated position.
- Take a natural breath in as you begin.
- As you exhale, gently pull your abdominal muscles in towards your spine on your exhale, pushing the air out slowly from your lungs.
- Breathe in again naturally.
- As you exhale, think of the air as a wave, using your abdominal muscles to let the air out from your mouth or nose.
- Continue until you feel like you have mastered the slow exhale.
When things get complicated in life, remember to go back to your breath. If you are interested in learning another breathing exercise, try the Square Breathing Exercise.