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Breathing As Your Anchor - Nerdful Mind #31

August 16, 2020 by Simon Mannes

Your breath is the perfect anchor.

One of our goals in meditation is to get more often into a state of continuous mindfulness.

We start with meditation to practice this feeling of being present. Then, with time, we have more and more mindful moments throughout the day.

Your breath is always there with you.

When you focus on your breath, you can focus in so many different ways. The feeling of air moving in your throat. The sounds you make. The rhythm of your breath. Breathing into the chest or the stomach.

If you learn to use your breath as your anchor, you not only have the opportunity to be more mindful. Your breath is also connected to the rest of your body. When your breath is deep, conscious, and slow, your body reacts and you get calm and more focused.

Want to focus on the breath? The best way I found is this. First focus on how you are breathing in the present for two to three breaths, without altering them. Then do 5 conscious, deep breaths into your stomach. Finally, let your breath flow naturally again for as long as you want, while feeling it.

“The wisest one-word sentence? Breathe.” – Terri Guillemets

Reading Recommendations

One article about how the breath affects the body and brain, one article about mindful breathing, and one interesting software engineering article.

Feel the Feels: A Mindful Breathing Practice for Tough Emotions - Yoga Journal

Once you know how to breathe mindfully, you can use the practice to help you through challenging times.

What Focusing on the Breath Does to Your Brain

Different breathing patterns activate our brain networks related to mood, attention, and body awareness, a new study suggests.

The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code – Joel on Software

Have you ever heard of SEMA? It's a fairly esoteric system for measuring how good a software team is. No, wait! Don't follow that link! It will take you about six years just to understand that stuff. So I've come up with my own, highly irresponsible, sloppy test to rate the quality of a software…

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Sit down and get into an upright but relaxed position.

Breathe deep into your belly. In through the nose and out through the mouth.

When breathing in, count from 1 to 5. It is okay if you can't reach 5. Try it with 4 or 3.

When breathing out, count from 1 to 5 again. Keep breathing gently and regularly for 3 to five minutes.

You can also focus on the feeling of the air flowing through your mouth, throat, and into lungs.

End Note

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Have a great week

Simon

PS: If you found an article you think others might like, and that fits this newsletter, I’d love it if you write me an email. Just reply!

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