Come Back To Your Breathing Throughout The Day

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We live in a fast paced, stressful world. We’re exposed to a constant barrage of inputs that would have been unthinkable for our ancestors. Our brains haven’t evolved to catch up with technology, we’re cavemen in the modern world, living out a dangerous scientific experiment. The stress gets to us, it affects the quality of our lives and relationships, but it can feel like there’s not escape, nowhere to hide, nowhere to take refuge.

But there is a place to take refuge, and it’s in your slow, deep, mindful breathing, a practice you can come back to throughout the day. What matters for the purposes of stress reduction is not necessarily the quantity of your relaxation time but its quality.

It doesn’t have to take days or weeks to calm your mind down, you can do it in just a few in-breaths and out-breaths, by forgetting about the outside world for a few seconds and just focusing on being in the present with your breathing. It’s kind of like jumping into water on a really hot day. You can stand the heat a lot better if you have that water source around you, both psychologically because you know it’s there if you need it and practically because you use it every so often to cool off.

Your mindful breathing is the exact same way. You only need to access it for a few seconds to get the benefits, benefits that provide a powerful bulwark against all the various stressors threatening to upset your equanimity.