When you feel stressed out, step out of your life for just a moment, and try this short breathing meditation/exercise. 

It operates on a 5,6,7 count and it goes a little something like this:

1. As you inhale slowly, count to five.  Feel your chest and lungs slowly expand and focus on the life-giving breath being pulled into your lungs, into your body.  

2. Hold the breath for a count of six. Envision all of the stress, tension, toxins, and annoyances polluting your life building up.  Then just hold them until the final count of six.

3. As you exhale all the way to a count of seven, feel all of the negative energy that you envisioned in step number 2 being expelled from your body (I figured “expelled” was the right word to use for educators).  Feel all of the bad stuff flowing out of your body like water down a drain, leaving only healthy and positive thoughts, feelings, and vibrations. 

4. After your exhalation, start the process again, knowing that the inhalation is filling your body with health and positivity and the exhalation is expelling all of your stress and tension.

After a few reps of this simple technique, you should begin to feel more calm, relaxed, and peaceful.  I have also heard other number rhythms, such as 4-7-8 (HT to Joe Sapienza, who can be found on Twitter here: @JSapK12), but I think the key is try a few different number sequences and see what rhythm works for you.* 

Happy breathing! TZT    

*Feel free to tell me about your experiences–the good, the bad, and the ugly (does anybody else hear whistling?)–in the comments section.