When your workday is packed with deadlines and meetings you need to stay focused to get it all done. A big interruption, a bad meeting or an unplanned distraction can easily derail your day.

The good news is that you can reclaim your focus even when you only have a minute or two before the next big thing requiring your immediate attention.

By combining an exercise called Heart Focused Breathing with a simple technique called Self Havening, you can achieve a powerful emotional mental reset and recharge.

The combined technique is called Life Breathing and can be done in just 60 – 90 seconds.

Life Breathing

  • Sit up straight in your chair, get comfortable and close your eyes.
  • Put your hand over your heart and focus your attention on that area. Visualise the deep heart chambers in your chest.
  • Once you have connected with your heart, cross your arms and continue with the self-havening gesture for the duration of this exercise. (Both hands slowing stroking downwards from the top of your biceps to your elbow and then repeating from the top)
  • Breathe deeply (in through your nose and out of your mouth) but normally and imagine that the air is flowing into and out of your heart chambers. (I know air doesn’t flow into your heart chambers – use your imagination anyway 😊 )
  • Begin to regulate your breathing to a count of six.
  • Breathe for a count of six seconds into your heart space.
  • Breathe for a count of six seconds out of your heart space.
  • Keep breathing in for six and breathing out for six.
  • Repeat breathing into your heart area for a count of six and out of your heart area for a count of six until you find yourself at the level of calm that works for you.
  • As you breathe out, imagine breathing out any or all negativity with that breath.  Breathe out your frustration, anger and stress and other negative emotions and stressors. Continue with the Self Havening gesture as you are breathing.
  • Complete at least 3 rounds of breathing in and out, where each round includes 6 seconds of inwards breath and 6 seconds of outwards breath.

Note: Heart Focused Breathing has been recommended by the Heartmath Institute since 2012 to reset energy and focus in a short space of time.  For years it was my go-to recommended reset practice used for myself and my clients. Once I came across the Havening Technique I saw more remarkable results when combining the two.

Ronald and Steven Ruden developed Havening, an anxiety-soothing technique that involves deliberately rubbing certain points on the arms, face and hands to release tension, stress and trauma.  The version where you apply Havening to yourself – called Self Havening became more widely known after Justin Bieber revealed he practices the technique to relieve stress.