BY JOYCE HAUSER
Have you ever tried to sit still with your eyes closed and think of nothing? To only focus on your breathing in the moment and nothing else? It’s actually pretty difficult, especially with all of the thoughts that come and go out of your brain on a daily basis. But it is actually a fantastic way to reduce stress. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed with your life or anything, you might want to try mindful breathing.
At NCSS this year, we’ve started to do mindful breathing every morning. It seems to help some students with managing their stress and focus throughout the day. It has been kind of fun. Some days we have our fellow students read a list of the different things we need to do while breathing; other times we listen to a video. I hope that in the future our advisory continues this practice because it seems to be helping the productivity of students.
If you aren’t sure how to do it at first, but you’d like to try it, here are some basic things to know: Sit somewhere comfortable, close your eyes and breathe. When you start to think of other things, try to push them aside and focus back to your breathing and visualize the way the air moves through your body. If this seems to help reduce your stress, try and remember to do it for ten minutes every day.
You’ll be surprised at the benefits of mindful breathing. Mindful breathing has been proven to improve cognitive abilities such as memory or concentration skills. It can be said to help with stress, heart disease, blood pressure, chronic pain and sleep. I know from my own experience, it has helped reduce the amount of stress I feel on a daily basis.
So basically, if you try and do mindful breathing every day for ten minutes, you might find that your stress levels decrease. Maybe it would help with sleep issues or anxiety.