It is a hectic world out there. We always have a reason for feeling overwhelmed and stressed, especially if you live in a big city and you are trying to juggle life with everything else: work, love, personal life… It sounds like a lot of drama, but when you’re in the same situation over and over, sometimes it’s time to look for solutions, that are just within the reach of your hand.

We have been talking about ways one can approach a bohemian lifestyle little by little, with details like your clothes, your food and, of course, your approach to spirituality. It is only when you are connected with your inner self that you can search for that peaceful state of mind that we know is not a myth. It’s out there… but it is a bit difficult to find when you are doing work, dating or taking care of the kids, all at the same time. But I said the solution is closer than you think, and I haven’t gotten into that yet. Although there are many approaches to achieving a peaceful state of mind there is one that has been proved very effective and straight forward: mindful breathing.

Experts on spirituality agree that creating a routine of breathing with conscious of what you are doing is one of the best ways to enter the path of the bohemian lifestyle, one where the balance between the outside and the inside is one of the most important things. But before you start wondering if you are going to be able to do it, or asking questions complaining about how complicated it is… let me break it down and show you how easy it is to start incorporating mindful breathing into your life.

Step 1: Make it a routine. We are creatures of habits, for good or for bad. And in the same way, you have a routine for taking your makeup off at night or brushing your teeth (both in the morning and night), make space for some minutes or breathing to start or finish your day. Start with a few minutes and, if you can, make room for more as the time passes. Within a few days, you will realize it is part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth, and you’ll even miss it if you don’t do it!

Step 2: Ask the experts. Mindful breathing is more than breathing in and out for a few minutes a day. It consists of a series of exercises specifically designed for you to relax and walk (figuratively speaking) into a peaceful state that facilitates meditation. And as easy as it sounds to get into it, it can be a little frustrating to not get the results or the state of focus that you need right away. You can consult all sort of experts on the matter (several organizations run workshops in different cities, they are really fun!), or find the resources online. Videos and apps are a great way to start and get into the mood, so you can do it on your own!

Step 3: Listen to your body. This is very important in any type of exercise, but especially crucial when you’re doing mindful breathing. Most of the apps or videos will ask you to concentrate and pay attention to what is happening to your body. Breathing into every corner of your muscles will guide you into a whole different experience, one that will show you that it is possible to alleviate the tension of a hard day with just a few minutes of work on yourself.

Step 4: Focus. It’s harder than it sounds, but it’s completely possible. Find a position that is comfortable for you. It doesn’t matter if it is sitting down or lying in bed, what matters is that you feel good in it. And after that, eliminate all the distractions. Focusing will be just a step from there… and you will learn to keep that state of mind.

Step 5: Keep track of your path. Apps are often helpful at this, taking notes on your sessions every time you dedicate a couple of minutes to breathe. If you are comfortable with it, write a journal. Be honest about your improvements, your frustrations, your thoughts. No one has to see it and it can be the perfect end to a relaxing session… and who knows what you can discover along the way!

Beatrice Vojnar