The benefits of breathing and meditation are undeniable; just a couple minutes of relaxation can make your mind sharper, your senses more alert, and your entire body more peaceful.
But in practice? Taking time to step away and meditate can seem daunting, not to mention confusing and difficult in the beginning. I’ve personally tried getting in the zone to meditate on many occasions and have never really been able to find pure relaxation.
So, what’s a stressed out professional to do, especially in the middle of a hectic workday? Turns out, all you really need is two minutes to experience the benefits.
Ariana Ayu, an entrepreneur as well as a self-proclaimed “Mojo Maven,” acknowledges that the idea of meditating in the office can be too much for many people, but that all you really need is a minute or two and some slight adjustments to your breathing to use the power of meditation to improve your mood.
Here are two super-quick exercises that anyone—even me—will find doable.
To Increase Your Energy
Looking to feel more energized? Ayu suggests setting a timer for two minutes, closing your eyes, then breathing in through your nose for four counts and out for three. Inhaling stimulates your sympathetic nervous system, helping you feel animated and active.
This is a great breathing exercise to try in the morning or right before you go into a exhausting meeting at the end of a long day.
To Feel More Peaceful
To feel calmer in no time, just try the opposite breathing pattern: Inhale for three counts and exhale for four. This triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, which can help you relax.
Just got off of a stressful call or had a not-so-great interaction with a colleague and don’t have a large chunk of time to decompress? Taking just two minutes to breathe can turn your whole day around.
In addition to using these breathing exercises for stressful circumstances or energy dips, it’s also a great idea to add them into your routine, both in and out of the office. Try energizing your team through breathing at the beginning of your morning meeting, or finish off your evening sitting in a quiet place to breathe and let your day fall by the wayside.
Breathe in, breathe out—and get to work even better than before.