Mindfulness and mindful breathing are techniques most people are aware of these days. They may be so frequently mentioned that they seem trite or superficial. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Our first and last acts as humans are breathing, and we never stop as long as we are alive. The quality of our breathing affects every part of our lives.
In his book Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life, Deepak Chopra describes vagal breathing, which he says is a particularly helpful tool in stressful situations. Here’s his description from pages 26-27 of Total Meditation (copyright 2020, Harmony Books).
An effective remedy in stressful situations
Step 1: Sit quietly with eyes closed.
Step 2: Easily breathe in to the count of four.
Step 3: Breathe out to the count of four, then pause for a count of one
Step 4: Repeat for five minutes
Dr. Chopra explains that the simple technique of vagal breathing not only relieves stress but also helps in managing anger and anxiety. He goes on to say there are thirty-two disorders regarding which research is being done to determine whether vagal breathing may have a positive impact; among them are alcohol addiction, heart disease, mood disorders, and Alzheimers.
We can notice how we are breathing in any moment. With a little practice, a technique like vagal breathing can be readily available, no matter what situation arises.
For more information about mindfulness and breathing, here is a an article by Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones entitled “The Gift Mindfulness Reveals.” You might find it helpful.