6 simple ways to make your breathing practice a daily habit
January 11th, 2022,
5 min read
Making conscious changes in your lifestyle and developing new and healthy habits is very rewarding. But as with any new habit, the tough part is sticking with it. Do you want to make your breathing practice a daily habit? Here are six tips that will help you.
If you want to start a new habit and begin living healthier and happier, then there’s one very important suggestion: start small. In the words of Leo Babauta, from his book Zen Habits: “make it so easy that you can't say no.”
You don’t have to sit and breathe for hours to reap the benefits. Moreover, you’ll be more likely to stick with your practice if you choose a short, realistic amount of time during your day.
Don’t set the bar too high. Start with six minutes per day, and cut it in three. Three times a day for two minutes, you should be able to carve that out your busy schedule, right? Once you experience how good it makes you feel, you’ll automatically be craving to scale up.
Having your breathing exercises regularly built into your daily schedule makes it a lot easier to stick with them. Think about three moments in your day you can free yourself for a few minutes, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.
The best way to build a new habit and a routine is to tie it to an existing habit, experts say. Look for recurring actions in your day and think about how you can use your existing habits to a new one.
Waiting for your morning cup of coffee, for example, can create a great opportunity to start a two-minute breathing practice. Or, promise yourself you won’t brush your teeth before you do your breathing in the morning. Stack your habits and you will be more likely to succeed.
You might think you needed a quiet place to practice breathing, and even though that’s a nice and calming way to practice, it’s not a necessity. Breathing can be practiced anywhere and anytime, as long as you are safe.
On a park bench, during a work meeting, commuting by train, while watching TV… You can embrace them all as opportunities to practice your breathing. The beauty of your breathing is that you always carry it with you.
To make it even easier, you can have moonbird guide your practice. Moonbird is easy and intuitive to use, fits in your palm, and is very discrete. No one has to know what you’re doing. But if they do, they probably want to have that calming experience too ;-)
An important factor in maintaining your new daily habit is to challenge yourself. Agree to practice three days in a row, to start with. Checked that box? Now try practicing for five days, a week, or even a month.
Once you commit to doing breathing exercises every day, you don’t want to break your streak. With the moonbird app, you can follow various breathing journeys with daily exercises, log your sessions and track your progress. Every time a new session is completed, you can take a little pride in your accomplishment.
Place your moonbird at a spot where you can see it, every day again. It will remind you to take some time for yourself and practice well-deserved self-care. Moonbird is your friend and motivator in moving forward.
Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. There will surely be days you won’t be able to do a (full) breathing session. You can get sick, be traveling, be challenged by deadlines, or just not have the energy.
On those days, just try to do a mini session. Cut the length of your normal breathing practice in half. If you don’t find any moment to sit down, just practice conscious breathing by focusing on your breathing. Try to take slow breaths, and check in with your senses and body as often as you can during your day.
Most importantly: don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stick to a perfect schedule all the time. A big part of letting go of stress and anxiety is being kind to yourself. Just do a little bit, enough to keep your streak going, and pick it back up later.
Your brain is self-critical by default. You might begin thinking that you’re not doing it right, aren’t progressing as much as you think you should, or that you’re just not made for doing breathing exercises. That’s all not true, don’t believe everything you tell yourself.
Remember that it all adds up. Every second you breathe is a little step you take to improve your overall wellbeing. You can thank yourself for that, even though you don’t always immediately see the benefits. They are real.
Most importantly: breathing is practice. It’s training. And when you’re training, it’s ok to not get it right. See it as an opportunity to learn and grow. So every time your practice doesn’t go as you want, you’re actually learning and moving forward. So keep your focus on the process, not the outcome. Enjoy the ride.
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