Simple Breathing Techniques
The more I get to know myself and others around me, the more I am reminded of the importance of taking a breath. Being mindful inoticing in the present, without any judgement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to no longer feel stuck in guilt or remorse about the past or anxious and controlling about the future. Just simply noticing the Here and the Now. The place where we can make changes that serve us.
Healing is done on so many levels and at different times. By taking a moment to be conscious about a simple breath in and out, you are coming out of your brain and thoughts and connecting with your awareness and intuition. Your gut instinct and your primal needs. You are taken away from society’s pressures and the media’s propaganda. You are able to release money troubles, health anxieties, body weight stress, parenting woes, work restrictions or whatever else you are thinking about that you have no power over. You are re-plugging in to you- the real you, and that is incredibly powerful.
Here are some more exercises I have learnt over the years;
Sounds easy and it can be as easy as 1,2,3
- Stop (close your eyes is completely optional)
- Breathe in (listen and feel the breath fill you up, notice where it goes without direction or forcing)
- Breathe out (listen and feel stress and tension leave with your breath.
Even if that is all you do. That can be enough- it is a great start. This can be repeated over the day or even in the moment until you feel like you have caught your breath and been able to pause.
Close your eyes and simply notice your breathing.
Count for a beat of four as you breathe in, and out for a count of four. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)
Increase counting to 6 whilst breathing in, then out for a count of 6. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)
Increase to counting to 8 whilst breathing, then out for a count of 8. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)
( OPTIONAL)Spend some time here, picture yourself in a favourite place (garden, beach, woods, room of the house) or try imagining looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing yourself as the perfect you.)
Return to counting to 8 whilst breathing in, then out for a count of 8. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)
Return to counting to 6 whilst breathing in, then out for a count of 6. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)
Return to counting to 4 whilst breathing in, then out for a count of 4. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)
This can take as long or as little time as you have!
Rainbow breathing; (This is great for all ages)
We all respond to colour. By visualising colour we are able to keep our mind focused on somthing, without judgement and to see how that affects how we feel. Simply use each colour of the rainbow one by one. Either just say the word of the colour, ie Red, or imagine red light around you or imagine all the things that you know are red. As you breathe out you can imagine that you breathe out any black or grey out of the body. As you mind begins to drift, move onto the next colour.
You can listen to a version of this guided meditation here
You could also use this mat to help prompt the colours for you. This is very helpful for kids too.
Stop the bus
This is best done when you are pressed for time, need to meet a deadline, are stalling doing something that really needs doing, cant wait, cant stop! Its amazing how little it takes to stop, re-focus and actually achieve more. It is also great to use when you have a thousand things going on and you cannot get to sleep.
This technique can be done for as little as 30 seconds or for 1-5 mins. Set a timer so you are not stressing about time.
Close your eyes and breathe in and out. Allow all thoughts to flow through your mind without holding on to them. without trying to solve them- just watching them. Especially when it is the last thing you should be doing!
Each thought can have a shape or colour as you see it drift off. Then start to repeat, I wonder what my next thought will be…
Then go back to what you were doing and notice if you have a new perspective.
Other exercises to get you on track:
- Opening yourself up to opportunity is about trusting yourself and the universe to provide for you. Whilst breathing and being mindful of your breath, try to visualize all the things you want from your life. What you want to look lik, feel like, where you want to be and who you want to be with. Set a direction for yourself. Start listing ideas and avenues to pursue. Bring yourself out of pause and motivate your body and mind towards a purpose and goal.
- List the things you are good at. Your key skills. What lights your fire, what gets you excited? List them all and all will reveal itself- it will become so obvious where you want to go- start to follow it step by step. It may be an area or path that you never considered before but will seem so perfect.
- Every night before bed- try to make a list of 5 things that happened that day that you are grateful for and then what you are looking forward to for the next day. This can help you to prepare you for a good nights, restful sleep. You may even wake up refreshed and positive to start another abundant and grateful day.
- Try to find other ways of being mindful every day- like taking your shoes off and grounding yourself, or walking in nature on one of the nearby trails. You don’t need to go far or for long, but try and do something every day to nurture yourself. Being in nature is so peaceful and restorative once you get out of your head. Ban all phone action whilst out there and even try it without music to distract your brain. Find what you like it may be water, or mountains, beaches or even just wandering through a city spoting nature everywhere. Feel like your feet are on the floor and your brain is in your head and your body is in control.
Try this Mindfulness class….