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simple strategy: breathe

Stressed? Uncomfortable? Confused? Scared?

Stop. Take a full deep breath. Exhale. Repeat.

In my practice of yoga and of rock climbing, I have found breathing to be the most effective strategy for tackling tension. It comes up again and again in the books and blogs and instructions. And, as is the case with most epiphanies reached through my activities, the advice is applicable to everyday life, in any situation.

Pay attention to your breath. It will ease your mind and remind you to be present, calm, and balanced.

Often when I’m stressed or nervous, I lose track of my breath and later notice that I am breathing too quickly or holding my breath unnaturally, and that’s only making things worse.

It seems obvious – yeah, breathing is important. I know. A lot of things that seem obvious are dismissed, taken for granted, neglected, and that’s when we mess them up. The hard stuff is often a lot easier because we know that it’s hard, so we are more focused.

Minimalism is about remembering those simple, obvious things and paying attention to them. Embracing them. Enjoying them. Focusing on the easy stuff before rushing on to the hard stuff.

So breathe. Your body and your mind will thank you.