I hope you’re having a great week! I am, now that I’ve employed my favorite tool to get me calm, clear and focused on my goals.

You know, even when things are humming along just fine we can unexpectedly hit a bump in the road and get thrown off course triggering stress and anxiety. It can so quickly leave you feeling paralyzed, distracted, or disconnected from your goals.

It happens to all of us—I too am susceptible to this—so here’s a super quick tool to help you get back on track to feeling calm, centered, clear, and focused. I know first hand how well it works. You’ll be motivated in no time to tackle those goals and maybe even set new ones!

This tool is so SIMPLE; you can do it ANYWHERE, and only takes 2 MINUTES
(Of course, you can do it for longer if you’d like!)

It’s called Deep Belly Breathing, taken straight from my Yoga and meditation practice…so I know it works!

Follow these simple steps:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Visualize a deflated balloon sitting just behind your belly button. Notice the color.
  • Begin to breath into the balloon; see it expand in all directions as you fill air into your belly, sides and low back. Don’t force the air in just fill as much as you can then let the air out completely.
  • See the balloon deflate in unison with your abdomen.
  • Repeat this visualization breath work increasing the amount of air each time until your belly, sides, and low back are so full you must expand up into your low ribs.
  • Remember to exhale fully, squeezing the air out and watching as the balloon and your body close inward.
  • Repeat your deepest belly breath 3-5 times.
  • With each exhale choose to release one of your biggest stressors. Simply visualize the exhale whisking it effortlessly out of your mind, heart, and body.
  • When you’re done: Open your eyes and smile a genuine smile, where the muscles around the mouth and the eyes shape the smile (studies show it reduces stress!)

I do this exercise when I’m feeling overwhelmed, confused, or derailed. My balloon is usually purple. Sometimes green. Go ahead and try this exercise anytime you feel tension building and you will master the ability to quickly return to a place of equanimity and clarity!

In Love & Gratitude,

Missi Holt

P.S. Breathing is so powerful a force in our bodies and minds that it can literally transform your chemistry from moment to moment. Take charge of your peace, joy, and energy—be mindful of your breath!

Missi Holt

Missi Holt is the fitness and nutrition editor for Early to Rise. She is a master nutrition therapist, certified yoga trainer, Certified Turbulence Trainer and an NSCA certified personal trainer (CPT). She also provides fitness and nutrition therapy through her own organization, Whole Life Health.