Meditation is becoming increasingly familiar with Western culture. Its popularity stems from focus being the key to success in life. This discipline is making a large difference in people’s lives. Meditation helps a person become super productive. It benefits an individual’s creativity in problem-solving. People who meditate can turn problems into opportunities. Meditation lowers stress levels that make you more productive by reducing the physical and emotional response to stress. For me, meditation has helped me reduce tension in my muscles, lower my anxiety levels, and improve my mood.
To Meditate is to Sync your Mind, Body, and Breath
Meditation is a reset button that teaches you to be present in the moment and slow things down in a busy world. It helps us develop a clearer understanding of the environment and ourselves. Meditation takes work and will not be perfect when you first start. When you practice this workout for your mind, you will become better at it. Approach it in a way that you are trying to sync your mind, body, and breath. Breathing is critical not only to life, but to successful meditation. When breathing is done correctly, it can even improve focus and performance.
Learning to Breath Efficiently on a Limited Supply of Air
I first realized how important breathing is when I began scuba diving. I had to rely on a tank of air that typically lasts 45 minutes, but I was using it in only 30 minutes. My breathing would become erratic when I reached 75-100 feet below the surface. I was experiencing anxiety, excitement, and fear all at the same time.
I later learned that when I was relaxed and focused on breathing, I could maintain a still position and enjoy the moment. When I was not relaxed with each breath, I would either sink quickly or rise, and I could not control my buoyancy. That created a struggle to maintain balance and ruined the experience.
Once I learned to focus on my breathing and control it, my mind and body let go. All the troubling thoughts and feelings I experienced in the water went away. The key to success was paying attention to my breathing, which helped me quiet my mind.
Fundamental Steps to Breathing Efficiently for Performance
There are a lot of practical ways to breathe to increase performance. Athletes use conscious breathing to improve performance, whereas most people breathe from the top half of their chest. Conscious breathing allows you to fill up you lungs completely and be more efficient with your breath. When you start, you must dedicate time and a place to practice where you will have no interruptions. Air should fill your lungs and stomach.
1. Find a comfortable upright chair where your feet can rest flat on the ground. Your hands should lay on your lap where your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
2. As you breathe, you will want your eyes open in the first few breaths as you take air deeply through the nose, followed by exhaling out of the mouth.
3. After a few breaths, close your eyes and let your breath return to its regular pattern.
4. Place your hand on your stomach and concentrate on filling your belly with air.
5. Begin to scan your body from head to toe. Notice any tension in your muscles and just be aware of that area, but do not focus on it. Take note and move on. Notice also how you connect with your environment – the chair, the air around you, the sounds, and how your feet are touching the floor.
6. If your mind starts to wander, just return it back to the present moment and focus on your breathing.
7. Count your breaths, and once you get to ten, start over.