A Quick Breathing Exercise

This evening, if you’re still feeling a little restless from your day, or with everything that is going on in the world, I want you to take five or ten minutes just to slow down a little bit.

Get into a comfortable position. Back as straight as it will go. Rest your hands on your knees if comfortable to do so.

I want you to just sit for a moment. Taking in the room around the, the different colours, the different things on the walls. Maybe you recognise something a little different you haven’t noticed before.
Be like this for a minute or two.

Once you feel like you’ve seen all there is to see out in front of you I want you to know think about you.

I want you to think about the physical sensations of sitting where you’re sitting. Are you learning to one side. Is there a twang pain somewhere, maybe some pins and needs might join you soon. But, as long as it’s safe to do so, sit the sensations.

Are they as bad as you think they are? Do you have to move? Can you feel the texture of the furniture around you or of your clothes?

After some time considering your physical position, now is the time to look inward and think about your breath. I don’t want you to control it, just notice it.

It goes in freely, and it leaves freely. In and out, in and out.
Just notice your breath for a little while longer.

Now, really concentrate what the sensation of breathing feels like. How does it feel on your lips, your tongue, as it travels down into your lungs. Is it cool or warm, dry or moist?

What impact does breathing have on your chest as it rises and falls. How that interacts with your clothes and the furniture your sat on. Just focus on the breath and how feels and maybe tastes.

When you’re doing this, other thoughts will come into your head. They’ll distract you pull you away. It may even say that what you’re doing is “stupid” and “you’re wasting your time.” Let it think that.

We can often forget that we are in control of our actions and where want our attention to go. We let our mind dictate where we should do and follow it blindly.

To drown out this voice, we’re not going to push it away. We’re going to do the opposite. Invite that thought, welcome it – “Hello thought, nice of you to join me. You can stay there, I’m focussing my attention on my breath at the moment.”

The thought may stay. After all, we’re not actively trying to get rid of it, we’re actively focussing on our breath.

What you might find though is that it disappears on its own.

What we focus on persists.

If we focus on our breath, our breath stays with us.If we focus on our thoughts, especially the bad ones, we can be led away from what we actually want to focus on.

Slowly but surely bring yourself back into the room. Wiggle your fingers and toes, lift your arms, have a little stretch and just take your time.

Now ask yourself, if you could focus on your breath to get rid a of an unwanted thought for no reason, what other thoughts can you now focus your attention away from?

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