More on mindful breathing

On April 13, I posted about a small breathing exercise to help you start to focus on what is going on now, to bring your mind into present awareness. Here are a few other pointers to help you to develop awareness of the present moment while doing this exercise:

  1. Bring yourself into the present moment by deliberately adopting an erect and dignified posture. Try to activate your core muscles - if you know how to do that from any physical training you may have done.The sensation can feel like trying to draw your belly away from your trouser waist band and into your spine. If possible, close your eyes. Then ask: "what is my experience right now - in thoughts - in feelings - in bodily sensation?" Acknowledge and become aware of your experience, even if it is unwanted.
  2. Now, gently gather and direct your full attention to your breathing, to each in-breath, and to each out-breath as they follow, one after the other. Your breath can work like an anchor to bring you into the present moment and help you to tune into a state of awareness and stillness.
  3. Then, expand the field of your awareness around your breathing, so that it includes a sense of the body as a whole, your posture, and facial expression.

This breathing space can provide a way for you to step out of automatic pilot mode and reconnect with your present moment experience.