Feeling edgy, over-caffeinated, or distracted? Enhance your focus and sense of calm with this simple relaxation technique that combines the powers of touch and breath.
Step 1. Bring your attention to one of your hands. Clench your hand, then open it and stretch the fingers wide for a moment before letting the muscles relax, keeping your hand open – like it might look if you were about to wave “hello” to yourself.
Step 2. With your other hand, rest a finger near the base of the thumb on your open “hello” hand. You may close your eyes if you wish, or leave them open.
Step 3. Now slowly trace the edges of your open hand, inhaling a slow, steady breath as you trace upward on your thumb, and gently releasing your breath as you trace downward. As you trace your open hand, focus on the sensations of touch and/or breath, tuning in to the touch of your finger and/or the rise and fall of your breath. Continue breathing slowly and steadily until you’ve traced the edges of the thumb and fingers of your open hand. When you finish, slowly open your eyes if you had them closed.
You’ll likely feel a bit calmer after completing this brief exercise.