In previous posts, I discussed the use of conscious breathing to help you deal
with feelings of stress and pressure.
When you are feeling stressed, take a minute or so to focus on your breathing.
Gradually lengthen the cycles of your breathing. Notice how your feelings change,
and how the built up tension in your body begins to dissipate.
This same technique works for just about any type of emotion or state. For example,
if you are angry or upset, take a few minutes to gather yourself and regroup with
some cycles of conscious breathing. If you are feeling tired or sleepy, wake yourself
up with deep breathing.
There is another aspect to this type of breathing that is very beneficial as well.
One of the side benefits to conscious breathing is that it forces you to “be in the
moment”, at least for a few minutes or so.
Being in the moment refers to a total focus on now. You stop thinking about what
happened in the past, and you stop fretting about what may happen in the future, or
what you need to get done by x hour or date.
There is a concept in traditional martial arts called “beginner’s mind”. The Japanese
word for this is “soshin”.
As a beginner, the first time you do something you really have to concentrate and
focus in order to do it correctly. The idea of soshin is to continue to be like a beginner
when performing various tasks. No matter how trivial a task is, retain the mindfulness
of a beginner when performing it.
Have you ever engaged in some kind of creative work, or have you ever become so
engrossed in doing something, like playing and laughing with your kids, that you lost
all track of time?
This happened because you were living in the moment. You truly felt more alive and
energized by doing it.
It’s an incredible feeling, almost a state of flow.
This is one of the things I love about the martial arts. During hard training, you have to
concentrate 100% on the instructor’s commands and on your movements. When sparring
or fighting, you have to be totally focused on your opponent and your own strategy and
During these times, I lose all sense of obligations and responsibilites outside of the
training hall. I stop worrying about what needs to get done, or the latest problem or
issue. Although these things await me, for the moment I can just …. be. And enjoy!
Performing conscious breathing, or other types of deep breathing exercises, can
help you create these moments of presence. When you focus on your breathing and
on how your body feels in response to the breathing, you are in the moment.
And at least for this moment, you forget about responsibilities, issues, and demands.
You stop dwelling on health problems or aches and pains. And you help yourself to
relax and feel more calm, regardless of what is going on around you.
Breathing exercises and being in the moment are not instant cures for all that ails
you. But awareness of your breathing and of the current moment can help you
lead a calmer, more relaxing and healthier life.
I encourage you to put these two concepts to work by making them a regular part
of your life.
You Can Do It!
Karen Van Ness
P.S. Learn more about how to put breathing to work for you by securing your
copy of the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course. The specific
movements coupled with complete breathing will invigorate, rejuvenate and
relax your body and mind.
17 thoughts on “The Power of Being in the Moment”
Learning on how to be in the moment with ourselves and others is a crucical skill and your breathing excercises can help train people effectively.
Leadership is a Choice
I will take your advice to heart and try to follow these simple principals…
They seem very powerful.
Seize the Day,
Is Your Family Prepared For A Financial Crisis or Natural Disaster?
When I feel stressed I always start concentrating in my breathing as you say, but being in the moment I always feel takes more effort. Maybe is easier when you just don’t try? I think it is like a circle…you want to relax, then you can’t so you , or at least I, get more stressed…and stat all over again!
I love kettlebells for the same reason. The bell and I become one and nothing else matters. My body and breathing are in alignment. I find it strange that we are deep belly breathers when we are infants and then we somehow “forget” how to breathe correctly. So many people need the information you have.
Yours In Health!
Dr. Wendy M. Schauer, D.C., R.K.C.
Come Experience The Power of the Russian KettleBell Revolution at Kettlebell Olympia – Home of A Better Body With Bells!
There is so much more to breathing than just breathing. Thank you for the explanation of this exercise.
Scott Sylvan Bell
Now go implement!
Your advice is very timely. Many people today are deeply worried about what the future may hold. Unfortunately, this fear of the future is seriously detracting from the now.
We must all stop and take the time to be present in the now, to live in the moment. I absolutely love the concept of soshin!
Thank you for this excellent article.
Make Your Life Rich in Every Way!
Create The Life of Your Dreams
I used to have an ultralight. After work I would go flying for an hour or so just before sundown. It was like sitting in a lawn chair 500 feet above the ground. Those were some awesome moments.
I like how you tied deep breathing into the state of mind of being in the moment. When people ask me how I was able to force myself to jump out of the plane when I went skydiving, I tell them I was so focused on the techniques and specific actions I needed to take that I really was in the zone and didn’t really give much thought to the fact that I was actually leaving the airplane.
The Success Secrets
When I’m stressed and am trying to relax I tend to do shoulder and neck rolls along with deep breathing to de-stress. When my muscles relax I automatically feel calmer.
Sabrina Peterson, NASM CPT, CES
Corrective Exercise for Every Body
I shall work on my breathing!
OK I took a few deep breaths before I responded and it helped me clear my mind. When thinking about breathing and taking deep breaths my mind only focuses on the breathing.
Have a great day!
Always hard to remember to not get stressed…but not always easy when you are in the moment.
Sales Success Expert
I actually try to practice this type of focused breathing at least once a day, along with some meditation. I find it helps me be more productive and focused.
Funny how such a simple thing can have such a powerful effect.
Yes, those deep breaths are healthy in so many ways – besides physical!
Social Media: 7 Reasons People Go Online. And You?
Some of life’s best stuff…happens…in the moment…
It is so true. What a great blog post and point about Being In The Moment. It’s all we have. When my late husband was dying from cancer, we had this 2 week period of time when he was in a PT hospital. It was crowded, and he was ill. However, the grounds has this little garden oasis. We would stroll around with his wheelchair, and just BE with each other, admire and learn about each of the plants, or simply eat a sandwich together. It’s all we had – NOW. And what a delicious precious treasure that is, don’t you find?
Happy Dating and Relationships,
After 40 Dating Expert
When I am very stressed, untill I don’t go back and center my attention on my breathing, there’s no improvement. I always have to remember myself that a good way to relax is just concentrate on my breathing. It would be great to have an internal alarm that tells you: just go back to your breathing and everything will be ok!