“Like the air you breathe, abundance in all things is available to you. Your life will simply be as good as you allow it to be.”- Abraham Hicks
Breathing is essential to life; it’s something that we do without thinking in most instances due to our autonomic nervous system. Thank goodness we don’t have to remember to breathe, otherwise life could get tricky. The normal healthy person breathes an average of 20,000 breaths per day (1). Focusing on your breath for one minute at a time, three times a day, equates to about 30 breaths or 0.15% of your daily breathing. You are planting the seed of awareness with this simple mindfulness technique that you can practice anywhere you can breathe. Wink! Wink!
You are already breathing; the difference is that you will quiet the noisy mental chatter for 60 seconds at a time by becoming aware of your breath. Everyone needs a break. Operating at 100% all of the time is a guaranteed highway to burn-out city.
Spending three 1-minute sessions intentionally breathing can reduce stress, anxiety, improve focus, productivity, mental clarity, and overall well-being.
Have you ever noticed what happens to your breath in a stressful situation? A person’s breath tends to speed up and become shallow. The number one instruction when facing a stressful situation is to, “breathe. ” Breathing uses oxygen to fuel every cell in our body. Intentional breathing boosts immunity (2). Pregnant women take prenatal classes to learn to better cope with the birthing process. We can apply this breathing technique to our everyday lives, not only stressful situations. Our breath is vital to our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Remember that intentional breathing is a skill that takes time to develop. Just do what you can today, tomorrow and the next day. Just like the pennies, after one year, you will have accumulated more skills over the year than it seems you’re doing in a day.
Focus on your breath for 60 seconds. You can do it when you’re lying in bed before you get up for the day. You can do it in the shower. You can do it before or after you brush your teeth. You can do it in the car. It doesn’t matter where you do it as long as you can be undisturbed for 1 minute.
- Set your timer for 1 minute or use a free app on your phone.
- Get comfortable, close your eyes, relax your body, your face, your eyebrows, your shoulders, and breathe.
- Start with a 3-count in through your nose
- Exhale for a 3-count out of your mouth.
- You’ll do this 10 times.
Voila! You’re done!
We start with the 3-count because it’s not too far removed from your natural breathing rhythm. Once 3-in and 3-out feels comfortable, try 4 seconds to breathe-in and 6 seconds to breathe-out. You will practice this breathwork six times to achieve your one minute goal. You should feel relaxed with each round of breaths. If you feel like you’re straining then take a step back and breathe at a pace that’s comfortable and natural for you.
Once the 4:6 ratio is satisfying and you feel that you would like to take deeper breaths, you may want to consider the 5:7 ratio of 5 seconds to inhale and 7 seconds to exhale. You will practice this round of breath work for five rounds to complete one minute of breath work.
Lastly, the 5:10 ratio is a good practice as the exhale is twice as long as the inhale. Learning to exhale completely teaches us to trust the Universe. Allowing ourselves to exhale for twice as long as we inhale is the same as giving twice as much as we receive. It can be highly rewarding. Trusting that when we expel all of the air from our lungs just to take in half as much is a practice of faith and acknowledgement of abundance. Focused breathwork is a form of meditation or mental training. You are focused on your breath rather than the thoughts in your mind. Intentional breathing gives your mind a “breather” haha
Additionally, long slow breaths calm the nervous system and body, leading to clarity and confidence. As you can see in the table below, the longer your breath, the fewer rounds required to reach the intended time.
TALLY – UP
Ideally, you want to do this three times per day. If you can only manage one time a day then choose the morning. Find another 60-second pocket to do this around lunchtime and a third before bed. Write down three adjectives of how you feel after each of your 1-minute breathing sessions.Do you feel calm, relaxed, less stressed, or more focused? At the end of the week, if you have practiced breathing for 1-minute 3 x day then you should have 63 descriptors to assess this practice.
1 Minute Breathwork Options
|Inhale (seconds)||Exhale (seconds)||Number of Rounds|
There will be repeat adjectives describing how you have felt after your 1-minute breathing session. Go through your list, tally up each word. Select your top three, and you have proof from your own experience as to how breathing three times a day positively impacts your life.