A scattered mind is overwhelming. Having too many ‘tabs’ open can cause exhaustion, sadness and stress. Lucky for us there is a simple tool that can help still our busy mind by relearning how to focus our awareness on one thing at a time. It’s called our breath.

Focussing on our breath is a great way to meditate, improve mental clarity, gain more energy and calm the body by activating our parasympathetic nervous system – our relaxation response.

Meditation isn’t about switching off or emptying your mind. It’s simply a way to pay full attention to your breath, which eventually allows you to pay full attention to your day-to-day activities, rather than functioning on auto-pilot.

Why is the breath such a powerful tool to still a busy mind?

1 – It’s always with you

No matter where you are or what you are doing, your breath is always there. It’s a constantly ‘moving’ point of focus that grounds you in the here and now. Whether you’re walking in the park, hanging up laundry or doing the dishes, you can focus on your breathing anywhere, anytime.

meditation to still a busy mind

2 – It’s a monitor for your current state of mind

Your breath is a personal health monitor that measures how you are feeling in this moment. Is your breath short and shallow or long and deep? They say a disturbed mind means a disturbed breath. Long and slow breaths are key to creating a sense of calmness within. It will activate your parasympathetic nervous system – your relaxation response – which in turn allows your body to rest and rejuvenate.

3 – It’s a steady anchor in a frantic world

Your breath can ‘anchor’ you in the present moment. Following the rhythm and pace of your breath allows you to notice when the mind has wandered off. Even the most devoted meditator will experience thoughts coming and going. Simply direct your attention back to the breath, and start again.

The next time you are rushing through life, pause and see if you can fully experience what is happening in that moment. Which thoughts, sensations, and feelings are coming up for you? Know that it’s perfectly OK to park your to-do list on your mind’s workbench. Return to it at a later stage with less stress, more time and increased mental clarity.

About the author: Sab is the founder of Retreat Here and Sabijn Linssen Yoga. She creates Yoga and Wine Events and Retreats to connect like-minded women in Victoria. She’s also a fully certified Yoga Instructor, offering private and corporate yoga classes in Melbourne.

Sab, founder of Retreat Here

- Sab