I often mention the practice of taking five deep breaths as one I turn to daily. A few people have asked me more about this practice and why I recommend it so much, so here's some more information all in one place to help you get started using this simple but deeply effective self-care practice that can truly help you throughout your day.
Why five deep breaths? Pausing to breathe deeply for a few moments becomes a way to remind my body that it does know peace and stillness. Those first three deep breaths create enough space for my body to relax. With the fourth, my mind realizes it can rest for a moment. And by the fifth, I am recentered and back into my body and heart. Sometimes, by that fifth breath, I can even though just enough peace to trust what I know inside my heart in that moment.
This is the practice that saves me again and again. Noticing. Breathing. Letting go of the day. I use it as a grounding practice throughout the day; I also use it as first aid when I'm going through a difficult time or just having an upside down, challenging day (or moment).
How to use this practice:
Close your eyes. Bring your hand to your heart.
With the first breath, relax your shoulders.
With the second, notice how your breath moves in your body.
With the third, try to let go of anything pulling on you.
With the fourth, feel the space you create inside you.
With the fifth breath, let your mind rest in this space.
As you continue working with this practice, give yourself reminders to pause and take these five deep breaths throughout your day. You could set a timer on your phone or put up a few sticky notes. I have "five deep breath" stickers in my shop for this very reason. Think about what kind of reminders you need to begin to integrate this practice into your daily life.
For more practices like this one and stories about self-care, subscribe to my (almost) weekly newsletter.