Brain Breaks

Brain breaks are basic intentional relaxation techniques to slow your brain down for a few minutes throughout the day. There are many benefits to relaxing the brain such as improved focus, ease in getting things done, lower fatigue, lower irritability, better resilience, and more. The following are some quick tips to set up a Brain Break environment.

Brain Break Setup

Find a quiet, low stimulating place, in your home, work, or school. Turn off your phone and other screens that may be playing. Sit or stand in a comfortable position for the next five to ten minutes. Try to push off worries, planning, or other thoughts and bring yourself to your current environment. Take three deep breaths and start one of the following exercises.

Deep Breathing

This exercise is designed to engage your brain’s natural capacity for self-awareness and regulation. It’s divided into three one-minute sections, each focusing on a different aspect of your inner experience.

Part 1: Begin by activating your brain’s introspective networks. Ask yourself, “What is my current emotional state?” Pay attention to the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that arise from different parts of your mind. Try to articulate these experiences in your own words. This process of mindful observation focuses your attention, helping to regulate emotional responses and promote a state of calm acceptance.

Part 2: Next, shift your focus to your breath. This simple act engages your brain’s attention networks and can help quiet the mind. By focusing on the rhythm of your breathing, you’re also activating your parasympathetic nervous system, which can help promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Part 3: Finally, let your attention expand to encompass your entire body. This practice engages your brain/body connection and can help integrate your mindfulness practice. Notice how your breath moves throughout your body, causing it to expand slightly with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath.

Remember, during this exercise, it’s normal for your attention to get distracted by certain thoughts or feelings. When this happens, simply notice the distraction, and then gently bring your attention back to your breath or body.


Step 1: Preparation Find a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.

Step 2: Body Scan Start by bringing your attention to your body. Notice any sensations, tension, or relaxation in different parts of your body. This helps to engage your brain’s somatosensory networks and ground you in the present moment.

Step 3: Visualization Now, imagine a peaceful place where you feel safe and relaxed. It could be a beach, a forest, or even a room in your house. Engage all your senses in this visualization. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel in this place? This process activates your brain’s visual and sensory networks.

Step 4: Positive Affirmation In your peaceful place, imagine a light or energy source that represents positivity and healing. Visualize this light spreading throughout your body, bringing warmth, relaxation, and a sense of well-being. Repeat a positive affirmation to yourself, such as “I am calm and relaxed” or “I am safe and at peace.” This step engages your brain’s reward networks and promotes positive emotions.

Step 5: Gradual Return Slowly bring your attention back to your physical surroundings. Notice the feeling of the chair beneath you, the temperature of the room, and any sounds you can hear. When you’re ready, gently open your eyes.

Remember, it’s normal for your mind to wander during this exercise. If this happens, gently bring your attention back to your visualization. With practice, this exercise can help promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.

Body Check-in

Step 1: Position: Lie on your back on a firm surface, with your arms by your sides and palms facing up. If you feel sleepy, you can open your eyes, prop your head up, or change your position to standing or sitting.

Step 2: Breathing: Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Feel each breath flowing through your body. With each breath, let yourself relax more deeply.

Step 3: Mind Wandering: If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your body.

Step 4: Body Scan: Start noticing sensations in your body, beginning with the bottom of your left foot. Gradually move up your body, paying attention to each part as you go along.

Step 5: Breathing Technique: As you inhale, imagine the breath moving down into your belly, left leg, and out of your left toes. As you exhale, imagine the breath moving back up through your body and out through your nose.

Step 6: Observation: As you focus on each part of your body, observe any sensations without trying to change anything. If you don’t feel anything, that’s okay. Just observe how your body feels.

Step 7: Whole Body: After scanning every part of your body, take a moment to feel your body as a whole, breathing in and out.

Disclosure:'s blog is reader supported. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate marketing programs, which means that we may make a commission on products purchased when using certain links on our website at no extra cost to you.