How Breathing Can Help You Live in the Moment

September 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Guest Space

It’s an honour to again welcome Dani from Positively Present as our Guest! More about Dani below.

Daisy by Aussiegall on flickrThough I swear all the time that I’ll try it, meditation is something I’ve yet to experiment with. I’ve heard great things about it and it seems that most who meditate reap very positive rewards. However, for me, it seems a daunting endeavor and so I tend to stick with something a little more basic — breathing. One of the things I focus on most on my site Positively Present is living in the present moment with a positive outlook on life. It’s not always easy to stay present (or positive!), but over the past year or so of striving to live a positive, present life, I’ve discovered that breathing is one of the best ways to stay in the moment. Breathing seems pretty basic, but there’s actually more to it than we often realize. And there’s a great deal it can do for us when we find ourselves in situations when we’re feeling like being anywhere but in the present moment.

When I find myself straying from the present moment, I often find it very helpful to focus on my breathing. No matter what the situation or what moment I find myself in, directing my attention to my breathing always seems to bring me back to the present moment and help me focus on whatever is happening in the moment. The beauty of breathing is that it’s a tool you can take with you everywhere and use no matter where you are. So, you’re probably wondering how you can use breathing to help keep you in the present moment. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve tried that seem to work really well when it comes to using your breath to keep you in the moment…

1. Take deep breaths when you feel anxious. It’s an obvious way to use your breathing, but it’s an important one. Too often, we can get caught up in our own anxiety and taking a few deep breaths is one of the best ways to calm down and focus on what’s really happening in the moment. Deep breaths give us a short time-out and allow us a moment to put whatever is bothering us in perspective.

2. Inhale new scents when you enter a room. One of the greatest ways to stay in the present moment is to inhale scents around you. We’re all breathing things in without realizing it, but if you take the time to really focus on what you’re smelling, you’ll find that your breathing ability is a fantastic way to stay in the moment. Even less-than-amazing smells can help us to refocus on the now.

3. Breathe very slowly when you are happy. When we experience extreme happiness and joy in our lives, we often rush through those emotions and don’t typically take the time to really, truly feel them. Therefore, it makes sense that, in order to really make the most of these moments, it’s important to slow down and slow, drawn-out breaths can really help with taking the time to enjoy the happy moments in our lives.

4. Be constantly conscious of your breath. This is a hard one to master since we’ve trained ourselves not to think about our breathing, but when you pay attention to your breathing, you’re actually paying attention to yourself — and that’s a much-needed skill when it comes to living a positive life. If you want to be more attentive to your own emotions and reactions, focus on your breathing and learn to assess and control your breaths.

5. Exhale your stress and anxiety. If you find yourself stressed and anxious, one of the best things you can do to relieve yourself of negative emotions is to let them leave you in a big, long exhale of breath. Imagine all of the negativity leaving your body when you exhale and imagine positivity coming into as you inhale. Sounds a little odd in writing, but imagining this really does help to quell anxiety.

There are many ways you can use your breath to focus on the present moment and, in fact, there are many resources that provide breathing exercises and tactics. However, I believe with these five breathing tips, you’ll be able to start using your breathe to make the most of the moment and you’ll find that, when you least expect it, you’re able to bring yourself back to the present just by breathing. It may take some time to get used to the idea of being conscious of your breathing (after all, we often take the very acts of inhaling and exhaling for granted!), but once you start focusing on your breathing, you’ll find that you’re much more in touch with yourself and with the moment.

Photo Source: Daisy by Louise Docker (Aussiegall)

About Our Guest Writer

This post was written by Dani, a twenty-something striving to live positively in the present moment. Dani’s blog, Positively Present, embraces the idea of “living happily ever after now” by focusing on all things positive. Dani is also the creator and author of Hope Springs Internal, a blog focusing on the positive representations of women in the media. You also find Dani on Twitter @positivepresent.

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