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Breathe in Mindfulness

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Breathe in mindfulness takes a look at how we can use our breath to practice mindfulness. Learning these tips will improve your health and wellbeing.

Breathe in Mindfulness
In this month’s meditation and mindfulness, we look at breathing

Focusing your attention on your breathing is the easiest exercise to perform when developing more mindfulness in your daily life.

Doing it regularly will help you deal with difficult situations a lot easier.

Breathe in Mindfulness

Mindful breathing is easier than you think. It’s very good practice to do this breathing exercise when starting out for at least three minutes a day.

Once you get comfortable with it, it’s recommended that you set aside 15 minutes to practice.
Use your mobile phone to set a daily reminder to practice and set a timer. By doing so, you will know when your allotted time is complete.

  • Sit in a comfortable chair with the soles of your feet on the floor
  • Let your shoulders drop and straighten your back so that you’re sitting tall, but feeling relaxed
  • Rest your hands on your lap and gently close your eyes
  • Gently notice how your body feels as you start to pay attention to your breathing. If you notice any aches and pains, simply acknowledge them and start to focus on your breath
  • You don’t need to breathe in a special way
  • Notice the flow of breath in and out, the rise of your stomach with each inhale and exhale
  • If you notice your attention becoming caught up in thought, just bring your focus back to your breathing. It’s normal that your mind may wonder. It’s important to never be judgemental or harsh on yourself for thinking, after all it is natural
  • When you’re ready, gently open your eyes and bring your attention back to your other senses. Feel your feet connected to the floor. Start listening to sounds around you and take the time to relax more deeply. Appreciate taking time out for yourself

Breathing when stressed

Taking the time to stop and focus on your breathing will also assist in calming you down. This is especially true if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It will allow you to be in the present moment. We often react out of character when we’re emotionally charged or stressed. Doing the exercise below when in a stressful situation will help to calm you down and react more accordingly.

  • Stand still and focus your attention on your body, feel your feet connected to the floor
  • Take in an exaggerated breath by inhaling through your nostrils whilst counting three seconds
  • Hold your breath for 2 seconds
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth for about 4 seconds
  • Observe how your body feels whilst breathing, the rise and fall of your chest, shoulders or stomach
  • If you find your thoughts racing or feeling sensations in your body, don’t be judgemental. Just gently bring your attention back to your breathing
  • When you’re ready, take a minute to bring your breathing back to normal and relax

Can’t sleep?

There are times when we struggle with falling asleep due to thoughts racing through our mind. If you focus on your breathing, it can help relax you whilst you fall asleep.

Have a go and let me know how you get on.

  • While lying downing in a comfortable position, notice how your bed supports your body and makes you feel safe
  • Focus your attention on your breathing and how your stomach and chest gently rises on each inhale. Also, how your body relaxes and frees all tension on each exhale
  • If distracted by thoughts, don’t be judgemental. It is normal to be distracted, just gently bring your attention back to your breath
  • This should relax you enough to drift off peacefully

Please note that I don’t have any qualifications to manage your mental health. Subsequently, I can only offer you general advice from my own experiences. Always consult your GP if you’re struggling with your mental health as they will get you the help you need.

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