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  • Exploring Mindfulness Through Deep Breathing!

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    Mindfulness is a hot topic currently! Have you been confused or need clarification on what this means? 

    By definition, mindfulness can be best summarized as, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s mind and awareness on/in the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It is used as a therapeutic technique” 

    Now, how do you “do” or achieve this state of mindfulness?

    That’s what I’m here to help you better understand!

    One common tool or technique of mindfulness that I’m here to help teach you how to better do is to practice deep breathing. This works well for adults and children as young as 2 or 3 years old to calm themselves, manage stress and anxiety. 

    Deep breathing exercises involve taking slow, controlled breaths to help calm the mind and body. 

    How to “do” Deep Breathing 

    • Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down. Somewhere that you will not be disturbed. If sitting, keep your back straight and feet flat and uncrossed on the floor.
    • Close your eyes. 
    • Place one hand on your belly, just below your ribs and the other on your chest. ● Take a regular breath. 
    • Now take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Feel your belly expand with your hand. If your in-breath lasts three or four seconds, then your mindfulness also lasts three or four seconds. 
    • Follow your in-breath and your out-breath all the way through. Whether they are short or long, it doesn’t matter. What is important is that you follow your in-breath from the beginning to the end. 
    • Hold your breath, and pause for a second or two.
    • Slowly breathe out through your mouth and feel the hand on your belly ‘come in’ as you exhale. 
    • Become aware of your body as you are breathing.  Feel the calming rhythm you are creating and release the tension in your body.
    • Next, try and add images. On inhaling imagine you are breathing in the air from a favorite place and that air is spreading calmness and relaxation as it enters and leaves your body. 
    • When you exhale imagine that breath pushing out the tension and stress.

    The initial goal of deep breathing is 10 minutes or until you are feeling more relaxed and de-stressed. Try working up to 20 minutes. Avoid feeling rushed so you don’t negate the goal of relaxing and de-stressing.

    If you don’t have 10 minutes to de-stress and are frazzled try taking a few deep breaths. As you practice and ‘get better’ at it an abbreviated time frame can help ease stress and tension. 

    Try to remember and imagine that each breath is sweeping away stress. The more you practice and use the technique the better you will become at it. 

    Try it the next time you’re at a red light. Sit back and practice: “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body”. Calm and peace are possible even in short moments and can be practiced multiple times a day—at work, while driving, even while cooking or doing the dishes…almost anywhere, any time. It is always possible to practice releasing the tension in yourself!

    Deep breathing is important because it helps regulate breathing and is beneficial to ward off panic attacks, lowers blood pressure and promotes a feeling of calmness. The practice of deep breathing regularly can improve emotional regulation, increase self-awareness, and enhance overall mental health.

    Have you tried using this technique and noticed a difference?

    If you find yourself struggling to achieve mindfulness know that you don’t have to put yourself through further stress as our therapists at Solid Foundations Therapy are here to help you! Visit our website at www.solidfoundationstherapy.com or give us a call at 630-633-8532 today