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Mindful Monday: Just Breathe

Last week in our sit spot blog we talked about breathing as it related to slowing down the mind and focusing on our sense of smell. This Mindful Monday, we invite you to just breathe. Research has shown that the act of more mindful breathing can help people deal with the challenges of stress and anxiety. There are loads of websites, articles, and apps out there with the goal and purpose of teaching you how to breathe with more focus and intention, a few of those are listed below.

One small thing you can do throughout your day to help calm your mind and get a little more oxygen, is to take 5 minutes, start indoors, close your eyes, take 10 slow, deep breaths in and out, through you nose. Now go outside and repeat, do you notice a difference in how you feel? You may not feel a drastic difference between breathing inside and outside, but the simple act of slow deep breaths helps ground you and provides more oxygen to all your vital organs.

If you have more time and want to learn a new breathing technique, the practice of Nadi Shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, is one that can really calm your mind and restore balance in your body. This video provides a good lesson for beginners. Either of these deep breathing techniques can be done at home or while out in nature, since there are no special tools or skills required!

Insight Timer App: this free app has both guided meditations, but also nature noises and other calming sounds

Mindful.org: this website provides references for the benefits of mindfulness, as well as many suggestions for how to start or build a practice

Breathe Bubbles: this playlist offers visual guided meditations for practicing breathing, while listening to nature sounds or calming music.