Three Simple Ways to Cool and Calm the Mind and Body
We may have no more intimate relationship than with the air we breathe. When our breathing speeds up or slows down, becomes shallow or deep, our thoughts and nervous system are immediately affected.
To reduce stress and calm the mind, it helps to notice our breath and slow it down. Sometimes taking two or three slow, deep breaths is enough to cool our thoughts. Or you might try these simple techniques.
Counting Your Breaths
Counting your breaths not only helps you slow and deepen your breathing it occupies your mind by focusing it on act of counting.
- First, relax your shoulders and take a few steady, deep breaths. Breath slowly and with each exhale let your tension go. Now, to begin counting.
- As you exhale, count “one” to yourself. On the next exhale count “two.” The next time you exhale count “three.” Continue this way to the number five.
- Begin again by counting your next exhale as “one,” and continue to five. Let your breaths be deep, steady and relaxed.
- Repeat the cycle of counting five times. Feel free to do more cycles if you are comfortable doing so.
A Cooling Breath
This is an excellent breathing method when you are feeling tense, hot, or restless. Not only does this technique help cool our nervous system, but it feels cooing as well.
- Open your lips slightly.
- Curl your tongue up; rest it behind your top teeth on the roof of your mouth.
- Breath in slowly through your partly opened lips.
- Notice the cool sensation of the inhalation on the underside of the tongue.
- Hold this breath a second or two.
- Now, exhale the air through your nose, slowly.
- Repeat until you feel more tranquil.
A Calming Breath
This breathing technique steadies the breath and helps focus the mind. It is useful for reducing stress and relieving frustration, anger or irritability. The calming power is owed to the long exhalation.
- To the count of four, breath in deeply through your nose. It is recommended you count at a slow, steady pace such as one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, etc.
- Hold your breath for a count of two.
- Through slightly pursed lips, release the breath as you count to eight.