How To Practice The AIR Method For Staying Present And Aware

There are so many distractions fighting for our attention each minute. Whether it's notifications on our phones, emails from work, thoughts about the past, or thoughts about the future, we are over-stimulated in many areas of our lives. The struggle to stay present in our lives is one that seems daunting, with all of these obstacles pulling us in different directions. It's no wonder that Anxiety & Depression Association of America reports that anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults age 18 and older every year. We are simply pulled in multiple directions at once, making it difficult to center ourselves.


Because so many distractions beg for our attention, it may seem too overwhelming to even find our center, to come back to what we really want from life, and to work to be more present. There is a simple method that is making its way to people who are looking for a natural way to calm themselves, center themselves, and work through each moment of stress. It is a simple idea that allows us to practice mindfulness right in the moment of stress. It's a skill that is easy to do and will allow us to reap the benefits the rest of the day.

Focus on your breath

In order to gain awareness of our emotions and ease the pain that can come from anxiety, we simply need to center our attention on our breathing. This is easier said than done, especially when we're in a moment of distress, but breathing is definitely the one constant in our lives. Mindful recommends a person pay attention to their body while it is still, bringing awareness to the inhales and exhales our body is doing for us. This will work to bring us into the present and meet each moment with awareness and mindfulness.


In addition, Art of Living asks those seeking mindfulness to try different types of breathing for relaxation. From exhaling through pursed lips, as in straw breathing, to deep inhales and longer exhales, as in diaphragmatic or belly breathing, all approaches to cleansing breathing can benefit our state of mind. Those who try meditative breathing use it multiple times a day. There is another approach to breathing that is helping people become more aware and more centered. This technique is called AIR breathing. 

The AIR method

The AIR approach is easy to do and can bring you back to a state of bliss in minutes. Amanda Lynch is a mindfulness expert who developed the AIR method to help bring people back to awareness. AIR stands for awareness, intention, and response. Awareness is focusing on how you're feeling. You employ intention by deciding if this feeling serves you. If it is a feeling you want to keep, you inhale and go deeper into the moment. If it's one you need to release, you can exhale it away (via TZR). This method takes about five minutes and is incredibly effective in bringing people back to the moment.


Because we are peppered with so many distractions and stressors throughout our day, it can be easy to feel like we are losing a part of ourselves in the madness. If the chaos and anxiety feel too much for you, focus on your breathing. Challenge yourself to be aware of how you are feeling and whether or not your intention is to keep or release what's on your mind. This process will give you more control and help you live more in the moment each day.