When you find yourself feeling stressed, even 60-90 seconds of focused and relaxed breathing can help to unwind the stress. Such a breathing break activates your parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the stress hormone cortisol levels and leaving you feeling more relaxed and focused.

The thing I love about deep, relaxed breathing is that you can take it with you anywhere you go, tapping into it whenever needed. For example, before transitioning into a hectic workday. Or maybe during a tense conversation or when you’ve received some unwelcome news.

Giving yourself a minute or two of deep, relaxed breathing can serve as a replenishing mini-vacation – a chance to regain your equilibrium and sense of well-being.

When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, just hit the pause button and take some time to tune into your breath. If you would like some support for a breathing meditation, here’s one I created for you to use anytime you want to reset and recharge:

To begin, close your eyes if you like, or simply soften your gaze, whichever feels most comfortable for you. I invite you to begin by taking a deep, relaxing breath in through your nose, breathing in energy and light and a feeling of well-being… and then breathing out slowly, slowly through your mouth, letting the stress fall away on the out-breath.

I invite you to continue breathing in deep, relaxing breaths…in through your nose and …out through your mouth, letting your face, neck, and shoulders relax and the stress fall away more… and more with each out-breath.

As you continue to take these relaxing breaths, if you like, bring a word or phrase to mind, something that resonates with you, that replenishes and renews you, as you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, perhaps something like the word “Feeling” on the in-breath and “peaceful” on the out-breath.

So Breathing in…“feeling,”….and breathing out….”peaceful,”…repeating those two words or any other words that work for you on each breath cycle if you like.

Take some time now to just be…breathing in and out at a rate that feels comfortable and relaxing for you. When you’re ready, open your eyes or focus your gaze and check in with yourself – how are you feeling?