Who Said Breathing Is Easy?
Linus, in the Peanuts comic strip, who is known for his blue security blanket, and who most times carries it everywhere isn’t embarrassed at needing it for comfort. I’ve been carrying my “security blanket” around, too. So have you!
Yes, we all have the same “security blanket” that we can use anytime.
What is it?
It’s our breath!
“It helps to have a focus for your attention, an anchor line to tether you to the present moment and to guide you back when the mind wanders. The breath serves this purpose…Bringing awareness to our breathing we remind ourselves that we are here now.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Many times, during the day, when I’ve felt stressed and confused, I’ve focussed on slowing down my breathing.
Have you ever consciously felt, or followed your breath?
Then, why not give it a try.
Get into a comfortable position, either sitting upright, in a relaxed posture or lying down. Don’t forget to either close your eyes or turn your gaze down toward your feet.
Feel your breath as you inhale, now feel your breath as you exhale. Let your breathing come and go naturally, the point is not to force your breath. Can you feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly or your chest with each breath? Can you feel the coolness of the breath when you inhale, and the warmth when you exhale? Good!
Carry on, and concentrate on your breath. If it helps with each in-breath you can mentally say “breathing in” and when you breathe out, say “breathing out.”
Now, try it again. And again. And again.
Still, breathing? Of course, you are!
Thoughts, Thoughts, And more Thoughts
But, you might find your thoughts interrupting your practice. This is perfectly normal. Don’t ignore your thoughts, don’t judge them, don’t react to them, merely acknowledge them, then return to your breath.
Breathe in, breathe out.
I have found designating the same time every day to “deal” with thoughts — good and bad — most helpful. Many times, I’m positive some of the thoughts don’t return during the designated time — letting me know that I was worrying needlessly!
Your wandering thoughts are part of being mindful. Just gently bring your mind back to your breath — breathe in, breathe out.
As hard as it is to maintain, that’s all there is. No judgment, no expectations. Just be in the moment.
And yes, surprise, you are meditating — using your breath!
When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes, or lift your gaze. Now notice the surrounding sounds and environment, notice how your body feels, is it more relaxed than before the start of your mindful practice? Pay attention to your new thoughts and emotions.
Congratulations, you have started your mindful practice journey!
The practice is simple, but it is not always easy to do. All it takes is consistent practice.
I try to practice mindfulness at the same time every day, in the mornings, because I feel it makes me better able to cope with whatever comes my way during the day.
Who said breathing is easy?
“It’s funny, but you never really think much about breathing. Until it’s all you ever think about.” — Tim Winton
This article was originally published on my site at https://donnapresents.com/feel-your-breath/
Meditation is a habit that may come easily to some. I have been meditating for over five years, but there were many days I found myself slipping. These days, not so much, not since I completed the no-cost Action Habits Challenge by Connie Ragen Green, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur. You can check it out here.
If you’re interested in revitalizing your life through meditation and would like to learn a virtually risk-free, and cost-effective practice, that people of all ages can do with a little patience and guidance and that will serve you for the rest of your life, I would love to connect with you. You can connect with me here.
I’m Donna SLam, who loves to blog about how meditation brings self-compassion, peace of mind, and clarity to my life and others by sharing tips and strategies on how to live a fulling and purposeful life. I enjoy championing others to lead a healthy and happy life through meditation, walking, self-development, and spending time with loved ones.