December 2, 2011 in anxiety breathing techniques
Flickr image by Isaac D
Meditation is one of the quickest and easiest ways to relax and clear your mind but, as we've discussed previously on Anxiety Slayer, when you're feeling anxious and your mind is disturbed it can be very difficult to sit down and meditate for long periods of time.
Before the mind clears, it likes to voice what's going on inside it - if your mind is overrun by negative or anxious thoughts they are the last things you want to hear and will only add to your anxiety.
In this podcast I want to share a way of taking very gentle small steps into the practice of meditation and how you can take short meditation breaks throughout your day that will gradually calm your mind and relax your body without you feeling that you have to sit in silence for uncomfortably long periods of time.
You can start with just 2 or 3 minutes at a time dedicated to resting your mind and slowing things down. Here's a simple exercise to help you get started:
- take a long, slow deep breath in, feel your lungs fill with air as your belly expands out wards and say to yourself "breathing"
- when your lungs are completely full, hold your breath for a couple of seconds
- then release the breath slowly, allowing your belly to sink back in and say to yourself "calm"
Repeat for 5-10 breaths being careful to pay careful attention to your breath and on the words that you are using to anchor yourself in a state of calm relaxation.
You can practice this as often as you feel comfortable for example: when you get up in the morning you could take a could of minutes to stretch and sit on the edge of your bed and start your day wit a few calming breaths, before you go to bed at night you could again relax yourself with some calming breaths before you settle down to sleep. You could practice while waiting to meet someone, while a call is on hold, or by committing to take a short stretch and breathing break from work.
Listen to the podcast here: