To be your best, it’s imperative that you learn to calm your mind. When you begin to feel pressure or stress, you’ll want to come back to simple, positive thoughts and controlled breathing. To become more centered and focused so that you can perform better, practice these helpful breathing strategies. Each of these breathing practices can be done in less than 5 minutes. If you only have enough time for a few, focused, deep breaths, that’s still better than nothing.
1. Square Breathing – For square breathing, you want to take deep, centering breaths counting up to 4 during the inhale, taking a 4 second hold, and then exhaling for 4 seconds, and holding again for 4 seconds before you inhale again. Do this at least 5 cycles and longer if you have time to really reap the benefits.
2. Counting Breaths – For this practice, you would simply count your breaths, with a nice controlled rhythm. Take 3 second inhale, and a 3 second exhale then say “1” in your mind. Then inhale again for another 3 seconds, and exhale for 3 seconds, then say “2” in your mind. So you’ll simple count and breathe. Repeating this pattern for up to 10, or 20 is one of the simplest ways to bring your focus back to something you can control, as well as calming your breathing cycle and being intentional about the pace.