This is where it all begins—and ends. The foundation of any quiet corner is breathing. If you breathe into your quiet corner and allow your breathing to direct you in your search, it will create space and quiet for your corner. As I concentrate on breathing slowly, my focus shifts and I welcome the ensuing calm as it enfolds and comforts me.
Most of us breathe very shallowly. We only breathe into our throats and don’t allow oxygen deep into our bodies. Take a moment. Become aware of how you’re breathing in this moment. Is your breathing deep and calm? Or is it shallow and hurried? The next time you feel stressed, panicked, or otherwise pressured, again notice your breathing patterns. Your breathing will be shallower than normal. Or you may discover that you are actually holding your breath, not breathing at all. This is a common response to stress. Think for a moment about what this might mean to your well-being.
As a simple exercise, take a breath through your nostrils and send this breath into your lower chest. Continue inhaling as you first fill up your lower chest, then your middle chest, and then your upper chest. Slowly release this breath—first the upper chest, then the middle chest, and then the lower chest. Do this three times as slowly as possible. In doing this, you will discover your first quiet corner.
If you take three deep breaths a few times during each day, especially at those critically stressful moments, you’ll be on your way to reducing stress and introducing some serenity into your life. It is truly simple and immediately rewarding.