It’s the last week of our month of mindfulness and at TEA+ we are really beginning to feel the benefits of incorporating it into our daily routine. While yoga, journaling and creative activities have amazing health and wellbeing benefits, it is understandable if you are struggling to set aside time to commit to them each day. Mindful breathing is a great method to use while you adjust to your new routine.
What is mindful breathing?
Mindful breathing is a type of meditation exercise that encourages you to focus on the rhythm of your breath. Breathing may seem unimportant when it comes to mental wellbeing and you probably think you’ve got a pretty good grip on it by now - you’ve done it all day every day since you were born, right? - but when done right, breathing is actually one of the most effective ways to adopt a mindful mindset.
What are the benefits?There are heaps of reasons why mindful breathing is beneficial to your mental and physical health that have been backed up by science. For instance, the simple practise:
- Reduces anxiety - breathing is an excellent tool for stress relief because it activates your body’s parasympathetic nervous system. Simply, when this response is triggered, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, reducing your levels of anxiety.
- Provides pain relief - yep, the simple act of mindful breathing can actually decrease the intensity of your pain. It has been used to help manage the symptoms of conditions such as migraines and chronic back pain and it has even been found effective in helping women cope through labour.
- Prevents burnout - burnout is real and more of us than ever are experiencing its shattering effects. Whether you are homeschooling the kids, balancing working from home and childcare, or simply struggling with the mental load of the third lockdown, mindful breathing is an excellent tool you can harness to reduce your emotional exhaustion.
How do you do it?
There are a million and one exercises you can find online, each as helpful as the rest, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s pretty simple.
Just find yourself a quiet place and get into a comfortable position. If you struggle to find a moment of peace during the day, you could do your mindful breathing when you’re in bed at night, or right before you get up in the morning. Wherever you are, the most important thing is that you are relaxed.
To avoid distraction, close your eyes and slowly start to tune into your body. Try to identify any points of tension and relax them, so that you can concentrate entirely on the gentle ebb and flow of your breaths. It can be difficult not to alter the natural rhythm of your breathing when you first begin to think about it, but do your best to resist those urges whilst constantly maintaining focus.
Allow yourself five minutes to practise your mindful breathing each day to ensure you reap its plentiful health benefits. And if you find that you’re struggling to keep your mind focused, don’t worry, it will get easier in time.
So, there you have it, a quick and simple #mindfulnessmoment that will help you nurture your physical and mental wellbeing each day. And for an even more calming experience, drink a cup of TEA+ CBD before practising your mindful breathing everyday.