BEFORE GETTING STARTED!!
When it comes to deliberate breathing and having the most beneficial meditation/mindfulness experience, it is extremely important to find a consistent breathing pattern that works best for you. For the best results, here are some tips to help finds what’s best for you.
Get comfortable. Make sure that your limbs are uncrossed and relaxed. You can also choose to sit or lay down.
Find your breathing cadence. Start with inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling for 5 seconds, do this for about 30 secs. If that is too long then shorten the count, if that is too short then lengthen it. You can also play with holding for a few seconds at the top of your breath before your exhale. My favorite is inhale for 4 secs, hold 4 secs, exhale for 4 secs, that’s work works best for me.
Make sure that you are filling your lungs and breathing from your diaphragm (stomach). This is the most important part because it stimulates the Vagus Nerve at that is what causes both recovery and performance benefits.
Having your eyes closed is optional. If you do choose to keep your eyes open, pick something to have a soft gaze on.
Make sure to get at least 5 solid breath sequences in before starting any of the challenges.
Mindfulness challenge #1
Approx. 5 mins
Imagine an image that invokes gratitude and calmness. Starting off with a goal of 1 minute try to maintain just that image in your mind.
Ex: I imagine myself laying down floating on my paddleboard in the ocean.
As you become better with this task increase time, and focus on controlling the image and what happens in it. Try to incorporate as many senses as possible.
Ex: Still floating on my paddleboard I imagine what the water temperature feels like, the warm sun, the smell of fish in the ocean, salt water in my mouth, and the board shaking. I look at a 360 view of where I am and make note of everything that I see and can hear and hold it for as long as I can.
Mindfulness challenge #2
Approx. 5 mins.
Count. Starting at one count as high as you can, the catch is if any other thought comes to your mind you must start over at 1. I encourage starting with a goal of 10 and increase the goal as you get better at focus.
Mindfulness challenge #3
Approx. 1 mins.
When you feel yourself getting distracted or being overwhelmed “GROUNDING” is a great technique to get you back in the moment and allows you become one with your environment so you can get back to the task at hand.
Name 3 things that you:
Mindfulness challenge #4
A few seconds a day, several times a day
Especially in times when you feel like your under a lot of anxiety and pressure this is a great technique to bring yourself back to the present moment. Similar to grounding it takes you’re mind off of the “could haves”, “should haves” and “what could be” and brings you back to where you currently are.
1.How is my breathing? Do I need to take time to regulate it?
2. What can I see? Scan the room then come back to focus.
3. What can I hear? Focus on external and internal sound.