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Mindful Breathing for Stress Relief

Following a mindful breathing technique is one of the simplest ways to calm the mind and body and refocus in times of stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on your breath by following these steps:

  1. Become aware of your posture. Sit or stand up straight so you are alert, but not tense. You may wish to close your eyes.
  2. Breathe in through your nose. Pay attention to where you feel your breath. Do you feel it in your nose? Your chest? Your abdomen? 
  3. Exhale out of your mouth, and imagine that you are exhaling out everything that is causing you stress.
  4. As you continue to breathe, let your awareness remain on your breath. You do not need to try to control the depth or pace of your breath, just notice it. 
  5. Maintain this mindful breath for a few minutes, focusing on the in and out, and how it feels in your body. If your mind wanders, gently return your focus to your breath. You can set a timer, or simply enjoy doing this until you feel ready to return to your normal breathing.

Mindful breathing is as simple as this, and hopefully practicing this technique will provide you with a quick way to calm down and reset your mind when you are feeling stressed.

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