Slow Your Breathing- Strategy
One strategy to learn to calm your system and control your thoughts involves learning to slow our “physiological” system down – starting with our breathing rate.
This is something I have taken from my yoga practice- as you are completely focused on your physical body, you are connecting your mind with your body. This is a grounding exercise meant to calm your mind. I realized how healing this meditative focused breathing was and practice this strategy not only during yoga but before I go to sleep, as well.
1. Sit or lie down in a quiet and comfortable place
2. Lie your arms beside your body with palms faced up towards ceiling or rest hands on your stomach.
3. Either close your eyes or focus on the ceiling, clouds, etc.
4. Begin by only focusing on your breath. By focusing on breath, you have no room for other thoughts. Breathe in, hold for a moment, and slowly exhale. Feel the muscles in your rib cage contract every time you take a breath.
5. Listen to your breath. Feel your breath. Feel the sensation in your body from the slow breath and relaxation.
6. Try this meditative exercise while breathing- every time you breathe in, your body is filled with bright white light(peace & happiness). Every time you exhale, any darkness (sadness or negativity) leaves your body with every exhale. You feel lighter and more peaceful on every exhale. This kind of mental exercise is very powerful and not just “imaginary”. I guarantee you’ll feel better after you try this!
7. When you are done, walk away with a relaxed mind. If I am using this exercise to get away from from a stressful thought, I imagine tucking that thought away for a time when I am more equipped to deal with it.
8. It often helps me to think of everything I am thankful for right after doing this exercise.