In this busy life filled with distractions, we can often live fractured lives. Our world is full of noise, clutter, tasks, and all sorts of things competing for our attention. Is it any wonder then that many of us go through our day with feelings of stress and anxiety? Sometimes it can seem like we are a bit disconnected from our bodies, minds, and souls. If you experience this, you're not alone.
There are moments throughout the day when I feel "off" and need to recalibrate. Maybe it's triggered by something that didn't go according to my expectations. Or maybe I get overwhelmed because I am trying to tend to several things at once. Whatever the catalyst, I know that I need to pause, recenter, and check in with myself.
I've been doing this short 5-minute check-in with myself, and it's become a little oasis for me. It is a simple centering practice that allows me to pay attention to my body and my needs, and acknowledge how I'm feeling. I can do it anywhere - at my desk, while I'm driving, as I'm laying in bed before I fall asleep. Every time I do this self check-in, I recalibrate and feel more grounded. I call the practice "Breathe and Center."
I figured others might be helped by this too, so I'm sharing it with you here. You are welcome to use this practice to do a 5-minute check-in with yourself. Please let me know if you use it, and share about your experiences.
You can find the audio version on my Resources page.
Here is the written version:
Breathe and Center
Welcome. This is a space for you to pause and check in with yourself. We’ll take a few deep breaths, center ourselves, and then reflect on a few questions.
We begin with focusing on our breathing.
Take a moment to notice your breath. Simply notice how it feels in your body as you breathe in and out. Gradually allow your breathing to go deeper. Take a deep, slow breath in through your nose. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Continue to focus on your breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Mindfully release the tension in your body. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply, while scanning your body for feelings of tension. Begin with your toes, and work your way up your body. Pay attention to each area of your body as you go. Relax any muscles that feel tense by clenching them and then releasing them.
Next, we focus on our center.
Locate your physical center - this is about two inches below your navel. Place a hand on your center. Once you’ve found it, breathe in and out deeply. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Continue to concentrate on your center. Become familiar with where it is and what it feels like. Feel the sensation of being stabilized and grounded. As you focus on your center, allow your mind, body, and soul be present here in this place. When you feel anxiety or stress, turn your attention back to your center. Find your center, focus on your center, and breathe in and out deeply.
As we continue breathing and living from our center, we check in with ourselves.
Let’s reflect on a few questions. As we go through each question, there will be a brief pause for you to reflect.
How is my body feeling?
How is my heart feeling?
How is my soul feeling?
What are my needs?
How can I get my needs met?
Finally, we come back to our center. We breathe in and out deeply. We move through the day knowing that we can always return to our breath and our center.
Aloha! I'm Larissa. I help others go deeper in the faith journey with God.
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