Reducing Anxiety with Mindful Breathing
Perhaps you have heard about the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice
of being aware from moment to moment. You want to be aware of the thoughts in your head. Most people go from one task to another while thinking about what they have to do next week or even next month. You are not focused on what you are doing in the moment. If you can develop an awareness and focus on the task you are doing, studies show that you can reduce depression, anxiety and stress.
The goal is to let your thoughts come and go and not get too attached to any thoughts. Find a comfortable place to sit and relax.
TO REDUCE YOUR ANXIETY WITH MINDFUL BREATHING
Close your eyes and sit with your back straight while you focus on your breathing.
Take a deep breath and imagine that your chest is filling up with air like a balloon.
Breathe in and focus on filling up your chest with air. Breathe out and imagine that the
balloon is deflating. Repeat this several times (5 or 6 times).
Thoughts will come into your mind. You can notice these thoughts and return your focus
to your breath. Don’t analyze these thoughts, focus on your breath. When your attention drifts off, keep bringing your attention back to your breath and focus on your breathing.
Instead of using a balloon you can use different images. Imagine taking a deep breath and blowing out a candle. Listen to your environment around you. Maybe you can hear the birds singing or the wind blowing.