Mindful Breathing

Mindful Breathing

Mindful Breathing

How to take a Deep Breath

In the picture below, we are reminded of the size of our lungs. The goal of a deep breath is to fill each lung full with air. Place your hand at the bottom of your rib cage. As you inhale, picture your lungs inflating like a balloon with awareness that your lungs extend to the location of your hand. 

During a true deep breath, your ribs and belly will expand while your shoulders and chest remain still. 

With children, you can place a stuffed animal on their tummy while lying down. With a deep breath, the animal will rise and fall. 

Typically, after a few deep breaths, you will notice a calming sensation wash over you. Inflating your entire lung space will increase oxygen to your brain which leads to clearer thinking, calmer behaviors, and a release of stress.


Mindful Air Flow

Now breathe as you normally do, not forcing deep breath, but just breathing at ease. 
On your inhale, focus your thought on "inhaling" and on your exhale, focus your thought on "exhaling." As you practice, this can be come "in, out" or another pair of words that help you focus on your breath. 

Follow the path of air as it travels in through your nose, down your throat, into your lungs. Then on an exhale, the air travels out through your lungs, to the back of your throat, and out through your nose or mouth. Repeat this observation of your breath until you notice a sense of calm. 

The intent of mindful breathing is to focus on your breath which calms a racing mind and brings your attention to the present moment. 

image credit health.harvard.edu

image credit health.harvard.edu

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