6 Seconds and You’re Zen

You can become the calm, clear voice of reason in a chaotic situation by taking a mindful, deep breath for an attentive moment, as noted in Chade-Meng Tan’s article, “Just 6 seconds of mindfulness can make you more effective.”

Just imagine you’re walking into yet another meeting after reading several emails and listening to umpteen voice messages, and your mind is already overbooked with “must do’s” and “over dues” by 9:00am. How do you clear your mind, make enough room to effectively add one more detail, or greater yet, come up with an effective solution to what lies ahead? Put down the mental baggage and release its grip by taking six precious seconds to take all focus off the past or the future, and be present with a deep, releasing breath that provides your mind with an opportunity to just rest and recover.

You can practice this mental baggage unloading by attention training, noticing triggers and cultivating mental skills to allow your compassion and empathy to flow. Begin with the six-second mindful breath, as physiologically your blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety are lowered when you fully inhale and mindfully exhale over this six-second pause. Your regrets from the past or worries for the future are replaced by the enhancing quality of the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing our body back into homeostatic state, one of calm, rest and repair.

When we were little, we would sometimes play a game of who could hold their breath the longest. We’ve known from a young age that breathing is so automatic and that it is a natural trainer of attention: we can constantly practice its flow. While the world around us may be out of our control, our path to a sense of calm and clarity is only 6 seconds away. Let The DEN be a place of perceptiveness and self-awareness, and take a class with one of our highly-trained Mindfulness instructors. See you soon!


Chade-Meng Tan, Harvard Business Review. Dec. 2015: “Just 6 seconds of mindfulness can make you more effective”

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