Calm amidst commotion

Many of you have asked for help with the formal exercises, explaining the challenge you feel attempting to conduct a breathing exercise at work (in an office cubicle bustling with busy-ness) or at home (with a continuation of “demands” and no place to hide).  I completely understand and though I sometimes take a trip to sit in my car or on an untraveled stairwell step to have a private place to breathe, I know it’s not always feasible to leave a workstation.

When I am stuck where I am and there is a lot of commotion going on around me, I do the following mindful breathing exercise, which is similar to one from yesterday.  Do you notice the similarities?  They involve talking to yourself.  Again, this is a formal exercise because we do nothing else but breathe for 1-3 minutes.


  • Begin the exercise by taking a deeper than average breath in… and then releasing your breath fully as you breathe out, perhaps even adding a sigh.  When we are in the midst of commotion, it helps to let go of extra tension and that’s what this does when repeated 2-3 times.
  • Now switch to saying something like this to yourself as you breathe in and out.  The “smile” can be internal (to yourself) or external (others can see).  It’s the spirit behind the smile that counts… which brings me to a story from my mentor, Crazy Don, if you want to check it out.
    • “Breathing in, I add calm to my life.
    • Breathing out, I smile at the commotion around me.”
  • End the exercise with an actual external smile, Mona Lisa-like… because you just pulled off some major brain training!
 © Copyright 2013 Maria Hunt

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