Whether you’re late to a meeting, or just anxious to get home after a long day, being stuck in traffic is a stress trigger that most of us have experienced. The fact is, there’s probably nothing you can do about the 4-car fender bender ahead of you, but what you can work to control is your own frame of mind about the situation. We know what you’re thinking: it’s not as easy as it sounds. So, our friends at Stop, Breathe & Think taught us this simple breathing exercise to help you feel more relaxed. It’s called 2:4 Breathing, and here’s how it works:
Step 1: Let your breath flow naturally, and count the length of your inhale.
Step 2: As you continue to breathe, make your exhale twice as long as your inhale. (For example, if you breath in for a count of four, then breathe out for a count of eight.)
Step 3: Continue to follow a relaxed and slow pace that is natural to you.
At first, you may find this to be difficult to keep up through an entire traffic jam. That’s okay. Like any mindfulness exercise, it takes practice, especially when you’re using it in stressful situations. The most important thing is to bring a little more mindfulness to your situation. The more you try, the easier it will become, and any attempt is a positive one.
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