Breathing is second nature, right? If you are reading this right now, then you are doing it without thinking. We all figure that we know how to do it, so why spend time thinking about it.

Or…not. The thing is, we all do it, but sometimes we could do it a bit better. If we slow down and really pay attention to how we are breathing, we might find that we’re taking fast, shallow breaths. Which may be fine sometimes, but every once in a while we’d do ourselves a favor to slow it down. If you’ve ever done yoga, meditation, or any kind of relaxation technique, you’ve probably had the experience of slow, methodical breathing. It has lots of benefits. They include:

*Lower blood pressure

*Reduced level of stress

*Better sleep

*Improved self-awareness

and many more.

So try this exercise now. Yes, right now. Read the below steps and then close your eyes and do them:

1. Breathe in for a count of 4.

2. Hold your breath for 2 counts.

3. Breathe out for a count of 6.

4. Repeat at least 3 times, or more if you have the time. Try to start out with just 2 minutes of this (set a timer).

Do this once a day. A good time to incorporate this into your day is first thing in the morning, right after you wake up. You can also stop and do it if you’re having a particularly stressful moment in your day. As you feel you have mastered the 2 minutes, add on a minute the following week. Continue to add on as much as you are able, as long as it feels like you have a routine that you can maintain. Take note of any changes you notice after you’ve been doing the routine for about 2 weeks.

Your body will thank you.

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