Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking

Welcome to the HABIT page for people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and program participants.  The HABIT Program is for individuals with MCI and their loved ones to learn the best strategies for adapting, coping, and living their best lives with MCI.

Follow the HABIT page to receive updates and information about adjusting to MCI and combating dementia. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

PUBLIC PAGE
Tue, Jul 3, 2018 8:35am

The 1-minute breathing meditation for relaxation

By paulinehlucas, @paulinehlucas

shutterstock_765004102

Do you have just 1 minute?

Do you find yourself frequently worrying about the future, ruminating about past events, or simply having a hard time quieting your mind? Using a simple breathing practice for relaxation might help calm your overactive mind. Breathing practices have been used for thousands of years and have gained much popularity lately. They are easy to practice, free of charge, and don’t have negative side-effects.

Fight or Flight

When we are stressed, either because of difficult circumstances, or because of our stressful thoughts, our nervous system gets ready for action. You may have heard of the “fight/flight response”. When our brain perceives danger, the body gets ready to either fight or run away from the threat. This is a great nervous system survival response for short term stressors and when we need to act quickly. An example of this is when a car comes swerving into our lane on the freeway and is about to collide with our car. We quickly jerk our steering wheel, maybe honk the horn, and once the situation is over, we might feel our muscles tighten, feel our heart beat fast, and our breath may be shallow and rapid. After a few minutes however, these sensations resolve and the body is typically calm again. If our nervous system experiences chronic stress, either because of a difficult situation or our constant worry thoughts, the same response happens, only now it doesn’t just ease up. The result can be chronically tense muscles, faster heart beat, fast and shallow breathing, digestive problems, and insomnia, just to name only a few!

The power of breath

The breath is an interesting function of the body as it typically (thankfully!) happens automatically, but we can also control it --for example to energize or calm our system. By becoming mindful of our breathing, purposely breathing in a calm way, and by breathing out a little slower than our inbreath, we can calm our nervous system and lessen the “fight or flight” response and instead move the nervous system to a calmer state called the “rest/restore” response. The result is relaxation of the body and a calmer mind. Some of this happens immediately, but with regular practice, the results are even more significant.

Easy steps to practice a 1-minute breathing meditation:

  1. Find a comfortable seated position, feel your feet on the ground and keep your spine tall and straight. Relax your shoulders away from your ears, and relax the face. If appropriate, you can choose to close your eyes.
  2. Take a long, slow breath in through the nose, and then calmly, slowly, and without tension breathe all the air out through the nose.
  3. Resume regular breathing by allowing the next breath to come in automatically, without any effort, and notice the cool sensations at the nostrils.
  4. Keep your awareness with the sensations at the nostrils as you breathe out calmly, and notice warmer air leaving the nose. Ideally your outbreath is a bit longer than the inbreath.
  5. For 1 minute (longer if desired) keep your awareness with the breath gently entering and leaving the nostrils.
  6. If you find your mind wandering, simply return it to the breathing practice.

Regular practice

Once you have practiced this technique a few times you can try a “mantra” practice, which means you use a word or short phrase to keep your mind focused on the breathing practice. For example: as you breathe in you might mentally say, “I am”, and as you slowly breathe out say “calm”, and you repeat this with each breath.

This is a simple practice that can be used pretty much anytime and anywhere. Although we tend to initially practice sitting or lying down, it can be done in standing as well. So the next time you find yourself in a doctor’s waiting room, or in line at the grocery store, instead of getting frustrated about the wait, you might use the time as an opportunity to practice some relaxed breathing and de-stress your nervous system instead.

 

Thank you. Excellent. The June 2018 Issue of Contentment (stress.org) is devoted to breathing

If I may have your permission, I would to share your one-minute breathing exercise – with the staff at the American Institute if Stress (stress.org). Dr Ron
Rubenzer, fellow American Institute of Stress.

@user_cha272278

Thank you. Excellent. The June 2018 Issue of Contentment (stress.org) is devoted to breathing

If I may have your permission, I would to share your one-minute breathing exercise – with the staff at the American Institute if Stress (stress.org). Dr Ron
Rubenzer, fellow American Institute of Stress.

Jump to this post

Hi Dr. Rubenzer, yes absolutely feel free to share-please include the source: Dr. Pauline H. Lucas, Mayo Clinic in Arizona

I appreciate the excellent information!  As part of my MCI treatment plan, my neuropsychologist encouraged me to keep writing.  Could I possibly use the One Minute Breathing exercise in a paper I am trying to write?   Dr Ron Rubenzer. Former School Psychologist. Columbia University.  I thank you in advance. 

@user_cha272278

Thank you. Excellent. The June 2018 Issue of Contentment (stress.org) is devoted to breathing

If I may have your permission, I would to share your one-minute breathing exercise – with the staff at the American Institute if Stress (stress.org). Dr Ron
Rubenzer, fellow American Institute of Stress.

Jump to this post

Thank you so much. Happy Fourth of July. 
Let’s stay in touch if you wish.  Are you on LinkedIn? 

Dr Ron Rubenzer

@user_cha272278

Thank you. Excellent. The June 2018 Issue of Contentment (stress.org) is devoted to breathing

If I may have your permission, I would to share your one-minute breathing exercise – with the staff at the American Institute if Stress (stress.org). Dr Ron
Rubenzer, fellow American Institute of Stress.

Jump to this post

 Dear Doctor Lucas-  I truly appreciate your taking time from your to allow me to quote your excellent 1-minute breathing medication. 

It would be great if I could insert the statement below (in "quotes") into the draft of a small article I am writing – "Self-calming for Self actualization" attached in pdf, epub and mobi formats.  The article is only about 700 word long.

I think your statement (in quotes below)  would fit wellunder the heading- A Tip for Better Breathing .     

"Dr. Pauline H. Lucas, of the world renowned Mayo clinic (Arizona location), has developed an ingenious 60 second breathing medication (2018).  The six easy steps follow:

Easy steps to practice a 1-minute breathing meditation:

Find a comfortable seated position, feel your feet on the ground and keep your spine tall and straight. Relax your shoulders away from your ears, and relax the face. If appropriate, you can choose to close your eyes.Take a long, slow breath in through the nose, and then calmly, slowly, and without tension breathe all the air out through the nose.Resume regular breathing by allowing the next breath to come in automatically, without any effort, and notice the cool sensations at the nostrils.Keep your awareness with the sensations at the nostrils as you breathe out calmly, and notice warmer air leaving the nose. Ideally your outbreath is a bit longer than the inbreath.For 1 minute (longer if desired) keep your awareness with the breath gently entering and leaving the nostrils.If you find your mind wandering, simply return it to the breathing practice.) (Lucas, 2018)

END of Requested Insert.

———————————————————————————————————-

Thank you again.  I am trying to continue writing to maintain some level of cognitive fitness. I have a short article I will be sending you under separate cover which could possibly be of benefit to other MCI folks. 

Have a great summer.
Dr.  Ron Rubenzer
Author- How the Best Handle Stress- by using your head and heart, (2003, Warren Publishing)  

Very useful !

Hello- I am learning a lot from this community. I was told writing is good therapy. So with that in mind – here are a couple things I’ve written lately. While at Columbia NYC, I wrote for New York Magazine. I trust these new small efforts are hopeful and helpful. In 2011 I came out of a five week coma. The therapists immediately gave me my laptop (while I was in a hospital bed) and told me to start writing. I am still writing. Dr Ron Rubenzer. Make today count.

Thanks to all of you I'm finding these discussions very useful

Yoga was recommended to me recently. I've taken a large number of different classes and breathing is always a part of the classes 🙂

@shahnaz

Thanks to all of you I'm finding these discussions very useful

Jump to this post

A great community helping us adjust to a new normal with peaceful acceptance. Dr Ron Rubenzer

Shared files

Self calming pdf SHARE 6-29-2018 For Linkedin (Self-calming-pdf-SHARE-6-29-2018-For-Linkedin.pdf)

Hello. A while ago I was In The hospital for 8 weeks (five weeks in a coma) for a broken neck and shattered left arm. As soon as I awoke from the coma, the OT and speech therapists gave me my lap top (while still in the bed) and told me to start writing, which I have continued to this day. Writing helped me get from Hurt to Hope, by allowing me to have purpose in encouraging others. Please share this small sampling of articles. I really value being part of this community. Thank you. Dr Ron Rubenzer. Former School Psychologist, Columbia University NYC. PS. I was originally from Wisconsin!

@user_cha272278

Thank you. Excellent. The June 2018 Issue of Contentment (stress.org) is devoted to breathing

If I may have your permission, I would to share your one-minute breathing exercise – with the staff at the American Institute if Stress (stress.org). Dr Ron
Rubenzer, fellow American Institute of Stress.

Jump to this post

Dr. Rubenzer,

The quote is fine to use with the following edits:
1. Please capitalize Mayo Clinic.
2. We say "Arizona campus" rather than location.

Additionally, can you please include a link back to the original post here on Connect for the electronic publications: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/newsfeed-post/the-1-minute-breathing-meditation-for-relaxation/

Thank you and all the best with your work.

@user_cha272278

Thank you. Excellent. The June 2018 Issue of Contentment (stress.org) is devoted to breathing

If I may have your permission, I would to share your one-minute breathing exercise – with the staff at the American Institute if Stress (stress.org). Dr Ron
Rubenzer, fellow American Institute of Stress.

Jump to this post

Dear Dr. Lucas- I would be glad to make the changes.*
I tried to send you a small token of my appreciation (For Brighter Day, Choose to be Positive… at
https://www.amazon.com/author/ronrubenzer . ) Thanks again. Dr. Ron Rubenzer

* The article is at an epublication prep service now There is also a PDF of the article. I will make the changes you requested on the upcoming PDF.

Please login or register to post a reply.

Invite Others

Send an email to invite people you know to join the Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) page.

We'll include this text in the user's invitation.