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Wherever we go,
whatever we do, we take our breath with us. Life's anchor. We can
focus our attention on our breathing when we feel distressed, which will help
calm our mind and our body.
The primary goal of mindful
breathing is simply a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and
feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them.
Sit comfortably, with your eyes
closed and your spine reasonably straight.
Bring your attention to your breathing.
Imagine that you have a balloon
in your tummy. Every time you breathe in, the balloon inflates.
Each time you breathe out,
the balloon deflates. Notice the sensations in your abdomen as the balloon
inflates and deflates. Your abdomen rising with the in-breath, and falling
with the out-breath.
Thoughts will come into your
mind, and that`s okay, because that is just what the human mind does. Simply
notice those thoughts, then bring your attention back to your breathing.
Likewise, you can notice sounds, physical feelings, and emotions, and again,
just bring your attention back to your breathing.
You don`t have to follow those
thoughts or feelings, don`t judge yourself for having them, or analyse them in
any way. It`s okay for the thoughts to be there. Just notice those thoughts,
and let them drift on by, bringing your attention back to your breathing.
Whenever you notice that your
attention has drifted off and is becoming caught up in thoughts or feelings,
simply note that the attention has drifted, and then gently bring the
attention back to your breathing.
It`s okay and natural for
thoughts to enter into your awareness, and for your attention to follow them.
No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back
to your breathing.
Instead of a balloon, you
might imagine breathing in the beautiful aroma of a flower, and breathing out
slowly and gently by imagining blowing a candle flame to make it flicker, or
blowing dandelion seeds.
Children might imagine
having a small bottle of bubble mixture, and taking in a big breath before
breathing out slowly to make a long stream of bubbles or the biggest bubble they