Eastern ways have slowly crept into our western lifestyle. Think yoga, meditation centers, mindfulness. There is good reason for the popularity surge of these practices. They are helpful to your being and promote overall wellness. In fact, the connection between meditation and our brain has been a hot topic in neurological research over the past few years, and new studies seem to be surfacing weekly to suggest the benefits of meditation. From actual changes in our brain’s grey matter volume, to enhanced connectivity between brain regions, if you need scientific proof that meditation is good for you, you now have it.
At the core of meditation is a focus on the breath. As one yogi explained, “breathing is the bridge between your body and your mind. If you learn to regulate your breathing, you can regulate your mind and emotions as well. Breathe better and you live better.”
When my kids are struggling to find their quiet mind at bedtime, we focus on the breath. When I’m feeling pent up frustration and I’m ready to pounce on something (or someone), I stop and focus on my breath. Even just 4-5 series of box breathing can calm me down and get me back (closer) to my center.
So, today, we are going to do box breathing. Think of a square with a four count on each side. Breathe in for four, hold for four, breathe out for 4, hold for four. That breath pattern creates one box. Ideally, you’ll have a quiet space with calm surroundings, but really, you can do this anywhere.
You can even get an app for box breathing. So, give it a try because your breath, your brain, and your wellness matter.