This article originally appeared in Tips on Life & Love from Simon & Schuster.
Correct breathing is the cornerstone to healthy mindfulness. Here is one technique in this basic exercise called The Complete Breath. Learn other strategies for banishing shallow breathing in Meditation As Medicine: Activate The Power of Your Natural Healing Force.
The Complete Breath should be taken in one smooth, continuous motion, and should take about 2 seconds to inhale, and somewhat longer to exhale.
With practice, inhalation can be extended to 5–10 seconds. It may help to practice the Complete Breath in front of a mirror, with your hands on your abdomen, to feel the movements.
Once you have learned this technique, you will find it innately pleasurable, and will tend to keep doing it. The Complete Breath is of vital importance to everyone. Children, though, and especially babies, usually breathe this way naturally.