line drawing of a brain

A Quick Technique to Balance Your Mental State


When you’re feeling a bit scattered, try this breathing technique to balance yourself out.

This particular method does look a bit odd (you’ll have your hand in front of your face the whole time), so you’ll want to do it without an audience. Maybe you can find a quiet corner somewhere or face away from other eyes. Or be unapologetic in your vitality and practice in full view.

It’s called Alternate Nostril Breathing and has been a staple for many yoga and mindfulness practitioners for eons. I find that it is an incredibly effective, quick tool that anyone can learn.

Some days this might help center you completely. On others it might simply take the edge off. With regular practice, you might get the former result more often.

Listen to a recording of this meditation right now or by downloading the free FocusMinder app for your mobile device or Windows machine.

Bring your right hand in front of your face, palm facing you.

Bend your middle finger and pointer so they touch your palm.

Then bring your thumb to the right side of your nose and your ring finger to the left side. Not pressing, but resting gently.

Close your eyes - and exhale everything out.

With your ring finger, press closed your left nostril, take an inhale through only your right nostril.

At the top open your left nostril, press closed the right, and exhale through the left nostril.

Pause at the bottom and inhale back into the left nostril.

At the top plug the left, open the right, and exhale through the right.

Pause at the bottom.

That was one round.

Let's do another.

Inhale through the right.
Switch at the top.
Exhale left.
Inhale left.
Switch at the top.
Exhale right.

Inhale right, and keep going at your own pace for several rounds.

Now the next time you exhale on the right, no rush, you'll release your hand.

You'll breathe normally and you'll just notice your state.

You can download a free Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness and Meditation at Work if you are new to these techniques.

the Instagram logo, an outline of a camera Follow @burnoutproof on Instagram.

Enjoying Be Burnout Proof's resources?

We are self-funded and ad free. If you find our resources useful and have the means, please consider supporting our efforts by sending some monetary love our way. Choose your own amount or select from some options.

The fine print:

  • Your contribution is not tax deductible (we are not a nonprofit) and there are no refunds on donations.
  • You'll get a confirmation email and receipt email from Ardent Acumen | Be Burnout Proof via Square.
  • We pay $0.30 + 2.9% for each transaction so kindly consider that when allocating your funds.