The latest Happiness Hotline Newsletter

Happy February Bronwyn,

When was the last time you took time to focus solely on nothing but your breathing?  You might like to try it now.  I found this visual breathing meditation on youtube that I think is great for helping us to focus and for regulating the timing of our breaths.   - credit to the creator -  Murali Sundaram.

Remember, the idea is to focus only your breathing and the movement of the dot on the video and to allow other thoughts to simply fade away.  If the length of each breath to long for you change your breathing at the midpoint in each line.   I’ll pause while you practice…

So, how did you go?  Were you able to keep your focus on your breathing? Keep all those other thoughts at bay?  If you’re answer is no you’re not alone. 

Over the past 10 months I’ve been renewing my mindfulness training qualifications and running introduction to mindfulness classes for several community groups.  I’ve discovered that it’s more common than not for participants to admit that they struggle to focus solely on their breathing during our first 90 second break.  My passion is making mindfulness not only accessible to everyone but so easy that it becomes a part of your everyday.

If you struggled with the 90 seconds here are 2 tips that you might like to try. 

1 -           the 20 second mindfulness break.  For most people 20 seconds is about the time it takes to take just 3 long, deep, slow breaths.  If you’re somewhere where you can, focus on your breath, 3 long, slow, deep breaths, in… out… in… out… in… out…, and then go back to your day.  If you can, add a 4th, a 5th, before you know it 90 seconds will be a breeze. 

2 -           the mindful sigh, just one long, slow deep breath.  Did you know that research shows that a sigh is a subconscious physical reaction that has 3 functions.  It regulates your breathing to lower the stress response, acts as a mental re-set and signals to those around you that you are anxious. We might not want to send that final signal but if our subconscious is primed to get us to sigh when we’re getting stressed or anxious why not take advantage of the idea.  Try it now, one long, deep, slow mindful breath… breathe in… breathe out.    

Last time I wrote about simple mindfulness techniques I received several messages reminding me that it really isn’t that simple, that what I’m talking about isn’t really mindfulness.  Technically anything we put our mind to, anything we do that places us intently in the moment, in what many people call 'the zone' is mindfulness.  If you’re someone who has developed a regular and more advanced practice I congratulate you, but for those of you who are thinking ‘tried it and didn’t like / understand / enjoy it’ or who simply hasn’t tried mindfulness, I recommend you start out with the basics, a mindful sigh, 3 breaths, 90 seconds.  There is loads of research out there to prove that a little mindfulness each day really is good for your mental and your physical health and well-being.

How ever you practice your mindfulness the idea is to practice it, to make it a part of your day.  I will admit I can’t pick up a coffee or tea cup without a mindful sigh, before I enter or leave the office or the house I take 3 mindful breaths and whenever I can I purposefully take several mindful breaths. 

If you’d like to know more about these simple mindful breathing techniques, the above is really only the very basics, or would like to discuss bringing an introduction to mindfulness program to your community group or workplace please get in touch.

I wish you a wonderful rest of February and fabulous start of March.

Keep smiling



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Tailoring inspirational workshops and presentations that increase passion, purpose and profit by building health, well-being, resilience and team cohesion through laughter, humour, Laughter Yoga and Power Break Meditation.





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