If you can catch yourself reacting to stress, take a single, conscious breath. Mindful exhalation is a very practical tool. Its calming effect can relax the body, reduce anxiety, and soften hard feelings. You can practice it almost anywhere and anytime.
Mini exhalation breaks are a great way to release the tension of a busy day. Be creative and leave practice reminders on your computer screen or scatter them throughout the kitchen. Lengthen the exhalation before a business meeting, school conference, or medical procedure. Follow the exhalation during an argument or when someone starts to push your buttons. Practice mindful exhalation at bedtime to promote more restful sleep.
Take a moment to scan your body. If there is tension, breathe into it. If there is none, look for ways in which you can do less with your muscles while settling in to your current position.
Excerpted from the article:
Calming the Body, Mind, and Spirit using Mindful Exhalations
by Matt Mumber, MD and Heather Reed.
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