Breathing Meditation is a simple yet effective way of experiencing meditation. You don’t need special music or equipment—just your breath. You always have it with you.
There are several benefits to breathing meditation. You learn to let go of distractions, which will make it easier for you to let go of negative thought-patterns in day-to-day life. Full, deep breaths will increase your body’s oxygen supply, which will give you more energy. It is impossible to be anxious and calm at the same time, so by putting the body into a calm state, you will put your mind into a calm state as well.
How to do Breathing Meditation
Find a quiet place without distraction. Make sure your phone is turned off or in another room.
- Get comfortable. You can sit in lotus or half-lotus, sit in a chair with your feet on the ground, or lie in savasana if you won’t fall asleep. Make sure that your spine is straight and you’re not restricting blood supply to any limbs.
- Close your eyes. Take long, slow, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the nose.
- Bring your attention to your breath. You can focus on the rise and fall of your stomach and chest, imagine your lungs filling with fresh air and then expelling old stress, or imagine breathing in blue and exhaling pink or red.
- If other thoughts intrude, or if your mind wanders, gently return your focus to your breath.
- Repeat this for about 10-15 minutes. Just those few minutes a day can be a major benefit in your mind and life.
It’s very jarring to startle yourself out of meditation with an alarm. There are a few methods of gently bringing yourself back to day-to-day life.
The Gabriel Method
- Cover your closed eyes with your hands, palms on your cheeks, fingers in front of your eyes, all fingers together.
- Open your eyes and look at the tiny slivers of light coming in between your fingers.
- Open your fingers slightly. Let your eyes adjust to the light.
- Open your fingers a little more. Let your eyes adjust to the light.
- Open your fingers as wide as you can. Let your eyes adjust to the light.
- Bring your hands away from your face.
The Counting Method
- Tell yourself silently that as you count to five, you will gradually wake up. At the count of five, you’ll be relaxed and refreshed, feeling better than before.
- Count slowly from one to five. You can add a few words like “waking up” or “feeling good” between numbers.
- When you reach five, your eyes will open automatically.
Once you’ve practiced breathing meditation for a while, you’ll be able to reduce stress in everyday situations by just bringing attention to your breath.