Technique: Mindful Breathing

Mindful breathing is the simple practice of paying attention to … your breath. It helps you to focus on the process and different aspects of breathing, takes you away from the stresses of your daily life and anchors you to the present, encouraging a sense of calm and restoring you to a more relaxed state.

Next time you remember to pay attention to your breath or when practicing breathing exercises, try one (and only one) of these tips:

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1. Feel the air moving in and out of your nostrils.

2. Feel your belly expanding and contracting.

3. Feel your ribs cage rising and falling.

4. Notice the thoughts or feelings that come into your head and let them float away after a moment of consideration.

5. Notice the sensations in different parts of the body and have an awareness of tension.

6. Pay attention to the parts of the body that are in contact with each other or the floor.

7. Catch yourself drifting off and forgetting the purpose of your practice, i.e. breathing. Bring yourself back to the anchor of your breath.

8. Feel the position of your hands and any sensations you may have there.

9. Feel the descending state of relaxation and calm.

10. Choose a specific area of the body and focus on it relaxing as you breathe.

11. Choose a particular area of the body and breathe through it.

12. As you exhale focus on a specific word or mantra and say it.

13. Inhale and exhale imagining specific states, colours, feelings settling in.