Breathing meditation exercises for stress

Your breath is a barometer of your state of mind. You can tell whether you are stressed or calm by the way you are breathing. Did you know that breathing meditation is one of the most helpful ways to reduce stress? The following simple breath meditation can be done anywhere at anytime:

Sit quietly:

Before you begin, sit quietly for a few moments and allow yourself to relax and unwind. Make sure you are comfortable and there are no distractions. Listen to the sound of your breath and feel your chest rise and fall with each in and out breath.

Focus on your breathing:

Take three deep breaths, exhaling fully each time, then breathe naturally. Do not try to slow your breathing down; allow it to find its own gentle, easy rhythm. Let yourself relax as you feel yourself breathe in and out. Be conscious of the life energy entering your body with each breath.

Visualize:

As you inhale, imagine yourself being filled with light and love. As you breathe out, visualize all the worries and anxieties and any tension resulting from stress leaving your body. Feel yourself becoming light and the sensation of deep inner peace.

Enter the calm, still space:

See your breath as a continual circle. Each inhalation leads naturally to exhalation, flowing into each other. Allow yourself to relax with this process and to journey deeper into your essential self; that calm, still space within you where your breath takes you to. You will now be feeling relaxed and at peace. When thoughts arise, don’t try to push them away. Merely bring your attention back to your breathing and those thoughts will go.

Just be:

As you journey further into this relaxed state, allow yourself to drift with it. Your breath is now the vehicle that carries you effortlessly and even an awareness of your breathing rhythm may slip away at this point. Allow yourself to just be.

Coming back:

When you are ready, take three deep breaths, then breathe normally. Wriggle your fingers and toes, and slowly open your eyes. You will return to a normal state feeling more relaxed and happy.

Learning to control and use your breath will not only help you in your daily life relieving you of stress, but will make meditation more effective.