If you pay attention to your breath, you are practicing mindfulness meditation. If possible, set aside a few minutes each day to be present with your breathing. There are a number of benefits associated with being mindful, including more experiences of positive emotions, increased life satisfaction and decreased symptoms of depression1.
If you don't have the time for deliberate mindfulness practice, remember that you are always breathing. Therefore, virtually any waking time is an opportunity to pay attention to your breath. Maybe it will be one full breath right before you get in your car. Maybe it will be your last few waking breaths as you fall asleep at night. Or perhaps it will be right in the middle of a busy, chaotic day at work!
Let's reclaim the timeless art of breathing. It makes us more in tune with our bodies and engaged with the present moment. Indeed, breathing is a constant reminder that we are alive. Practice breathing that brings you pleasure and peace. This small yet pivotal adjustment in your attention can pay huge happiness dividends in ways that may surprise you.
1. Brown, K. W., Ryan, R. M., & Creswell, J. D. (2007). Mindfulness: Theoretical foundations and evidence for its salutary effects. Psychological Inquiry, 18, 211-237.
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