Count-12 breathing game
Do you frequently feel lonely, anxious, depressed, overwhelmed? Do you often feel like a fraud, a fake, an imposter, a loser? Do you suspect that maybe even your own parents didn't love you? Do you feel that society is moving too fast in a sharply negative direction? Do you feel guilty for not doing more about it?
You are not alone! Doctors have found that up to 80% of Americans suffer from Toxic Modernity Syndrome. But there is hope.
Studies have shown that a simple activity works as both a temporary salve and as a long-term antidote.
You can play this game any time that your full attention is not required elsewhere.
Rule 1. Count each exhalation to yourself, starting from 1.
Rule 2. You must be actively exhaling when you count the next number. That is, if you miss an outbreath, you have to wait for the next one. You can't count early (on the inhalation or with full lungs) or late (with lungs empty).
Rule 3. If you forget the count, the current exhalation is 1 and the next exhalation is 2.
Rule 4. Do not change your natural breathing.
Rule 5. If you feel tempted to cheat (counting when not exhaling, or guessing the current count but not being 100% sure), tap a finger softly on the back of your hand. If you haven't actually cheated yet, play through. If you do catch yourself cheating, you have to start over as in Rule 3.
Rule 6. You score a point when you successfully count 12 of your own exhalations in a row.
[Rule 4 and cheating: Sometimes hard to tell if you're affecting it or not, but as long as you're not doing it intentionally, it doesn't need to be called cheating.]
Once you are able to score points consistently, start keeping track of the point count in your head. 15 points is a set. A short game is 3 sets, whereas a tall game is 5 sets, and a long game is 7.
One short game takes around 30 minutes.