Gentle breathing

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Breathing Techniques

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It doesn't get any simpler than this breathing technique, and gentle breathing doesn't take much time either.

1. Go to a comfortable place and sit down.

2. Simply pay attention to your breathing. Be aware of the air as it flows through your nose and into your lungs. Notice how your muscles pull the air gently in and out.

3. Allow your breathing to develop a slow, even flow — in and out.

4. Imagine bringing a delicate flower with dainty petals up to your nostrils. Soften your breath so that the petals remain still.

5. Continue to be aware of the air as it goes through your nose and lungs.

6. Note how focusing on your breathing gradually relaxes and calms you.

7. Feel how refreshing the air is.

8. Continue gentle breathing while focusing on the feel of the passing air.

9. In Worksheet 13-4, write your observations on how this exercise makes you feel.

Consider practicing gentle breathing for five minutes every day for ten days or so. You may discover that you want to continue this or one of the other breathing strategies for the rest of your life. Relaxed breathing is a simple, yet powerful way of teaching your body to relax. Gradually, you'll find yourself able to employ such breathing to reduce stress whenever you encounter it.

Worksheet 13-4

My Reflections

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