Breathing Easy


We rarely pay our breath much attention as we move throughout each day.

On average, a person at rest takes about 16 breaths per minute. This adds up to breathing about 960 breaths an hour, or up to 23,040 breaths a day! This magnificent breath, which energizes and keeps us alive, can also become a reliable tool to develop greater focus and relaxation through conscious breathing. That is, if we choose to pay attention.

With mindfulness practice, we return our awareness . . . again and again . . . to the breath (or sounds, or sensations). That’s it. No need to create or pay attention to any drama when the mind wanders. No blaming or judging or worrying that we’re doing it wrong. Just noticing with kind and friendly attention, and then returning to the breath.

Here’s how we use awareness of the breath as the anchor for attention in SHINE:

o   Focus your attention on your breath, sensing its movement and breathing easy

o   When your mind wanders off (we sometimes refer to this as “Elvis has left the building”)

o   Simply NOTICE that your mind has wandered and

o   Gently return your attention back to the breath.

breathe rock
The most important thing one SHINE participant learned recently during the session on
Breathe Easy (one of the Keys to Mindfulness) was “that my breath is very helpful when I want to relax.” After practicing and experiencing the calming effect during the SHINE session, others often say they plan to “do the breathing exercise” to support themselves in stressful situations.

Try this practice for yourself. While it sounds simple, it is not easy. The important part is to be really kind to yourself each time Elvis leaves the building (or who or whatever image works for you).

What difference would it make in your day to pause and breathe easy for 5 breaths (about 30 seconds). What do you notice as you bring your full attention to breathing easy?

Can you find 30 seconds in your day to care for yourself in this way?

To what one breath can do,


Reader interactions

One Reply to “Breathing Easy”

  1. Craig Ehrlich May 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Very nice! Thanks!!

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