It is so easy to get caught up in stress. So many things pull at our attention that it is hard to see our way to just coming to our day in a more calm and relaxed manner. Life can be frenzied and harsh. It is easy to see this reflected in our breathing.
An antidote to this is a simple thing that you can practice with your breath. Please try this exercise.
When you breathe, pay attention to your outbreath. When you get to the end of the outbreath, find a moment of spaciousness where you just wait for a moment for the breath to come in naturally, without effort. Let the outbreath just complete itself. There is a small pause, a moment of quiet. When you do this, the following inbreath feels more natural, complete, and satisfying. It feels less anxious, less hurried. It is easier to breathe in more fully- with our abdomen and with our chest.
If you have difficulty with quieting yourself this way, be gentle with yourself. Just know that even a moment of pause is a good step toward finding an easier relationship with yourself through your breath.
An artist that I know talked about being taught to exhale as he pressed the shutter on his camera. He talked about seeing the beauty in the deep stillness to be found in that exhalation.
So, take a moment to try this. It is available any time.