In a previous post about our breath we looked at the difference between abdominal breathing and breathing from your chest, and how abdominal breathing can help alleviate stress and calm your body, mind and emotions.
It’s as simple as bringing your attention to your breathing for a few minutes, or even just a few breaths. This is easier said than done, however, as our minds tend to wander a lot at the best of times, and when we’re in distress, it’s even more difficult to stay focused on our breath.
In the next few posts we’re going to practice some exercises to help keep your mind focused on your breathing, starting with Following Your Breathing By Counting Your Breaths.
Counting Your Breaths: Counting your breaths from one to ten, and then when you get to ten, starting over again at one. At first you can count “one” on the in-breath, then “two” on the out-breath. Once you’re able to make it to ten without losing track, try counting one number per in-breath/out-breath cycle, counting only on each in-breath. Whenever you lose track of the count (which you will probably do quite often), don’t worry about where you were, just start over again at one.
The next mindful breathing practice is Following Your Breathing By Measuring Breaths. You can also find this exercise and more mindfulness meditations on my collection of 36 Guided Mindfulness Meditations.