I want to share with you the simplest and most effective meditation technique on earth. It is so easy that I've taught it to 5 year olds who can practice it easily.
Ready? Let's go.
Make your outward breath last twice as long as your inward breath. Continue for at least 5 minutes. That's it. That's the entire instruction.
You can practice this technique standing up or sitting down. You can breathe through your mouth or your nose. You can have a busy mind or an empty mind. It doesn't matter.
Many people breathe in for a count of 3 and out for a count of 6 but you can change that to match your own lung capacity. People often default to breathing in through their nose and out through their mouths but if you have a blocked nose you can do the whole thing through your mouth. It doesn't matter.
I know you're skeptical right now. Try it anyway. It'll only take 5 minutes. Did you do it? If so you probably feel a bit spacey and relaxed right now. As long as your outward breath is twice as long as your inward breath you will trigger a biological reaction called the relaxation response.
Here's how it works: Let's do a thought experiment. Imagine that someone threw a bucket of ice water on your head, you will instinctively gasp an inward breath. It's uncontrollable. Everyone does the same thing. On the other hand, imagine getting into a nice, warm bath on a cold day. You will instinctively sigh and breathe out slowly. Aaaaaaaah. So nice.
What this thought experiment shows us is that shock, fear, and stress have an associated state of breath. Gasping inward breath. On the other hand relaxation also has an associated state of breath. Slow outward breath.
Deliberately breathing long outward breaths will trick your body into thinking it's relaxed even if you feel anxious and stressed. Your body runs on some simple programs.
If you breathe like you're relaxed your brain will think "oh I must be relaxed. Weird! Ok I guess I'll just relax now." You can also try this technique if you're trying to get to sleep and your thoughts are keeping you up at night. It's super effective and super simple. Even people who think they can't meditate can do this.
Try it out and let me know how it works for you!!