Being aware of your breathing in a simple thing you can do anywhere, anytime to induce mindfulness.
There are number of ways you can focus on your breathing- you can start by being aware that, like the ocean waves your breaths come and go. Each time you breathe out, you can let go and release your thought about the past and future. Just focus on breathing in….. then breathing out. Certainly, you will notice thoughts arising as you breathe, thoughts about what you have to do tomorrow, or something that happened last week. The thoughts mint be pleasant or unpleasant , but whatever form they take, don’t try and force them away, just allow them to come and go, without judgement, without feeling you to hive them any attention.
If your thoughts do get the better of you, simply continue to come back to your breathing, which because it always occurs in the here and now, will draw you into the present.
There are a number of ways you can practice mindful breathing. Here are three techniques
- Breathing Colour: Start by closing your eyes. Then take a slow , deep breath. You might like to imagine the colour of the filling not just your lungs but your entire body, Imagine that color ( Perhaps a vibrant blue or bright red?) coursing through your body. See the color of your breath expand down the back of each leg, across the soles of your feet and up the front of your legs,. Feel it enter your torso and move up your spine were it flow down each arm, around the back of each hand, through your palm and back up your arms to your neck.
- Breathing and shaking your hands: Breathe into the count of five. Then, blow out the air in five or six quick huffs ( huh-huh-huh-huh-huh-huh) as you pretend to shake the water off your wet hands. Repeat as often as you want to.
- Alternate nostril breathing: Push one nostril closed with your finger. Take one long breath in through the open nostril for about five seconds , then pinch that one and let go of the other, breathing out slowly. Repeat alternately. Try to breathe out for as long as possible.
Mindful Breathing is like a reset button that you can push to return yourself to the present moment whenever you feel the need. Which breathing technique you use is not as important as just remembering to use one of them!
Just know that by focusing g on your breathing, you are bringing your attention inward to the present moment, rather than allowing your mind to get caught up and pulled back into the past or forward into the future.
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