It’s been a while. I’ve been thinking about you a lot. Every once in a while we doubt what we have to give and so we shut up. Like I doubted anyone cared about the 10 breath exercise. I was wrong.

And then some time goes by and we realize we have more to give. And so we come back.

I’m back.

What I’ve Been Up To

In the month of January, I spent some time in a book group to go through Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map. We learned how to plan our days based on our core desired feelings rather than a to-do list or the should-do list.

My core desired feelings are Vibrant. Ease. Connected. Empowered. Free. What I’ve come to learn is that teaching makes me feel all of these things.

And so I’ve come back to teach.

Life Is My Classroom

During this book club, one of the participants was talking about how he would get sick of hearing himself near the end of the day. It wasn’t that he was sick of hearing his voice, he was sick of hearing himself criticize himself, over-analyze every project or doubt his decisions. I offered up the following exercise on a whim. Several people in the group came back the next week with positive results, which made me think I should share the same exercise here.

If you’re the type of person who gets sick of hearing yourself by the end of the day, this 10 breath exercise is the perfect reprieve. Even if you don’t get sick of hearing yourself, but you often feel overwhelmed, stuck, or uncertain, try this out. It’s simple, can be done anywhere and requires no extra tools, props, or accessories.

The 10 Breath Exercise

  1. Stop whatever it is you’re doing
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Become aware of your breath
  4. Count your inhales and exhales. For example, as you inhale, repeat to yourself the number one. As you exhale, do the same – repeat the number 1. On your next inhale, repeat to yourself the number two. As you exhale, do the same – repeat the number 2. And so on, all the way up to 10.
  5. If you get distracted by miscellaneous thoughts – they could be anything at all – start over from 1.
  6. When you get to 10, open your eyes and notice if you feel any different than when you started. Perhaps the sense of overwhelm, irritation, or uncertainty you were feeling prior to completing the exercise has dissipated a little.
  7. Go about your day.

The cool thing about the 10 breath exercise is you can use it as many times as you want. I know some people who like to set alarms to remind themselves to bring their awareness back to their breath and others who like to practice this every hour. You can start or end your day with this practice as well.

If 10 breaths is too long for your attention-span, start off slow and try and just get to 3 without any distractions. Over time, you can work your way up to 10. I think you’ll find that once you reach 1o, you’ll feel sufficiently more relaxed.

Go ahead and try it, and let me know how it works for you!