Breathing is often the most overlooked thing humans do. It occurs naturally, and we hardly have to think about it, so why should we?
Self-induced therapy is the action of bringing oneself to a state of emotional tranquility without outside intervention. Often times when we need therapy or a helping hand, we’re alone: in bed, in a car driving, etc. There’s not much in the way of an on-hand therapist. Thus, it is necessary to become equipped with coping mechanisms in order to avoid an extreme, personal crisis.
One coping mechanism that has resided well with me is mindfulness breathing, hence the title. This exercise can be completed anywhere and anytime, preferably with a sense of privacy. Let’s begin.
For starters, find an area in which you feel exclusively comfortable: free from judgment, free from sound, free from distractions. Once you’ve arrived, find a comfortable spot to sit and take a minute to prepare your mind, whatever this means for you.
Next, assume a proper sitting position with both feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart. Relax your neck and shoulders and begin to think of your favorite sound found in nature, whether that be a river flowing, the crickets chirping or the sound of horse’s hooves against hard-packed dirt.
Finally, breathe. Breathe deeply and focus completely on each breath. My favorite count to breathe to is in for 5 and out for 4, meaning counting to 5 as I breathe in and counting to 4 as I breathe out. Continue this process for 3-5 minutes, or longer if you need.
Come out of your meditation by opening your eyes and shaking out your arms and stretching. Feel better? More relaxed?
This type of meditation has provided me with extensive relief from day-to-day stressors, and I fall back on this exercise multiple times a day. It doesn’t need to be perfect, or even the same every time! Modify the exercise and add your own variations which help you relax the most.
Did you enjoy this exercise? Let us know by sending us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be sure to respond within a day’s time. Breathe on 🙂