Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood


A great tool for staying in the present moment is breathing.  I heard a podcast where they spoke about “the standing lone pine tree”.  This is a tree that is all alone in a field.  And regardless of the wind or challenges that it faced, it continued to stand tall.  Breathing is a tool that can bring us back to the present moment and allow us to take it one step at a time and focus on our process.  There are many ways to think of breathing.  Below is one way that might help you to slow things down so that you can stand tall as you face what life throws in your path.

Here is how you can SEAS the moment and start to practice your breathing.  All you need is 2 minutes to get started.  You can do this once a day or at several times throughout the day:

  • Slow your breathing down – take 1 breath every 10 seconds.  Slow down your brain – say something to yourself like relax, be calm or let it go.  It is important to say this calmly and slowly to yourself
  • Exhale longer than you inhale.  Focus on your exhale, gradually allow it to get longer so eventually your exhalation is twice as long as your inhalation (e.g. after practicing you may be able to inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 6 seconds, (this link will help you do this)
  • Allow your abdomen to inflate – as you inhale inflate your stomach like a balloon and as you exhale let it fall.  Try to keep your chest still.  To make good use of your schoolbooks, put them on your stomach and watch them rise and fall as you breathe
  • Soften your shoulders as you exhale.  Allow your shoulders to sink down as you continue to breathe slowly.

Remember, it may not be easy.  But regardless of what happens, breathing helps us to stay grounded in the present moment.