What is the one thing in your life that you can manipulate but not ignore, control but not totally, is free but life giving? Your breath.
Breathing is something we often take for granted, but how we do it can have a profound effect on our health, both mentally and physically. Slow diaphragmatic breathing can reduce stress, calm the mind, and nourish the brain as well as all the cells in your body.
It doesn't cost a bit extra to breathe mindfully, but we rarely do it. All day long we have the opportunity to take little breathing breaks. In one of his books, "The Art of Living Mindfully", I think, Thich Nhat Hanh talked about being thankful for interruptions, like a red traffic light. He called it an opportunity to take deep mindful breaths. He said when your phone rings, don't answer until the third ring so that you may take three slow deep breaths before you answer (some of us may need to change our ring tones to something more calming, however) :-).
Whether you do Reiki self treatments, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yoga, walking or biking as your self-care practice, this deep diaphragmatic breathing technique can extend and add a little extra to your daily practice.
How to do it: inhale in through your nose, with the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth; and inflate your lower belly as if you were inflating a balloon. Exhale through your nose by gently flattening your lower belly. In Tai Chi we call this Dantian Breathing.