Updated: Nov 7, 2020
Today, on the first day of our 30-day challenge, we work on bringing our awareness to our breath. Taking time each day to really pay attention to the flow of the breath can be a big first step in mindfulness. We often move through the day without even noticing our breath. We take it for granted because it's typically an unconscious action.
Focusing on our breath can be difficult. We might find the desire to control the breath - to slow it down or to breathe deeper - but it's important to simply pay attention, to notice the way it flows in the moment. Pausing to sit and notice will help us carry this awareness as move through our day. As we create a habit of noticing the breath we may begin to notice moments throughout the day that we hold our breath or allow our breathe to become hurried and/or short.
Breathing in this way (hurried, rapid, short) can ignite the sympathetic nervous system, which prepares the body for stressful or dangerous situations. This brings us anxiety and tension. Slow, deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system of the body that allows for rest, relaxation, and digestion. Bringing our awareness to the breath is our first step toward a pranayama (breath control) practice that will allow us to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Which will help us learn to manage anxiety and relieve stress and tension.