You’re here because you’ve hit the Mindfulness SOS button…
We all need to hit the SOS button from time to time. It’s completely normal. Allow yourself a few minutes of space from whatever it is that has led you to click onto this blog.
Let the de-stressing commence…
We’ll cut straight to the point.
One of the best things to do when you are stressed is quite simply to focus on your breathing.
It sounds simple, because it really is…
Of course we breathe every moment of our lives, but how often do you take a few moments to solely focus on the relaxing sensation of the breath?
Following the breath helps create some space in a busy mind, and will help train your brain to identify less with thoughts and relax a little more.
The best way to fully understand how amazing it feels to simply focus on the breath, is to give it a try…
Relaxing Breathing Exercise:
1) Sit comfortably. Allow your shoulders to relax and gently guide your shoulders back, enabling the chest to open. Place your feet flat on the floor and allow your hands to rest gently on your thighs. Feel relaxed.
2) Close your eyes.
3) Begin to focus your attention on the natural rhythm of the breath, you don’t need to consciously alter the natural smooth flow.
4) Inhale through your nose and count up to 5. Notice the cool air as it softly flows past the tip of your nose, down your windpipe until you feel your chest and stomach rising.
5) Hold the breath for a count of 3
6) Exhale through your mouth and count up to 5. As you feel the warm air pass the tip of your nose, imagine that the warm air leaving your body contains any built up stress.
7) Continue this cycle for as long as you wish. We recommend at least 30 seconds.
Remember, it is perfectly normal for your mind to wander off thinking about different things during this exercise. Simply use this as an opportunity to acknowledge the thoughts and then gently guide your concentration back to the natural flow of your breath.
Well done. Simple and effective huh?
By following the natural rhythm of the breath you have just experienced what it is like to truly live in the present moment; that is, you have experienced mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment.
The above breathing exercise is essentially the core foundation of mindfulness meditation. The majority of meditations out there start by focusing on the breath. So, really well done, you have just meditated!
By focusing on the breath you are permitting your mind to have some space from the stressful situation at hand. This space allows you to gain perspective on your emotions. Focusing on the breath is perfect for when your mind is racing from thought to thought throughout the day.
However, the breathing exercise is not about trying to block unpleasant thoughts and emotions.
Mindfulness is about learning to observe our thoughts, and then finding a space between the thoughts and yourself. You aren’t your thoughts. (click here to learn how to watch your thoughts).
Through practicing a breathing meditation, it is possible to feel a sense of inner peace and stillness even if the world around you is in complete chaos.
Just a few minutes meditating each day is all that is required to experience the wonderful feeling of inner peace.
Have a mindful day!