Meditation Articles Series


More Breathing Tips To Reduce Stress

04 Jun 2009

My mother who is eighty-five says she has worried all her life and will never stop.  Well, she has been fortunate to live a life of good health despite her propensity to be anxious.  Her world has narrowed these days, but she still find things to worry about like what the neighbours are doing, or not doing, and when the autumn leaves will be raked up. 

A few months ago I asked her if she would like to do some breathing exercises.  They have now become part of what I do with her each day.   I believe they have made a difference to her feeling of well-being.  The same old questions are still asked but not with so much anxiety and agitation. 

There are similar breathing patterns that are included in the audios on Fragrant Heart but if you are reading this blog these will refresh your memory, and you may like to do them.

1.     Four – Seven – Eight Count

Breathe in for four counts, hold for seven counts, and breathe out slowly for eight counts. 

As you do this notice where your muscles are getting tense.  Let the breath soften any tightness and tension in your muscles.  If emotions arise let the breath ease the impact of the emotion.  If thoughts flow through your mind, allow them to do just that, flow on through, and keep with the breath count.

2.     Body Awareness and Breath

If you could observe your thoughts without reacting to them, and the thoughts behind your emotions without reacting to them you would experience continual harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for all of life.  This to me is spiritual unfolding, and it’s a life long journey.  Here’s one of the many practical steps along the way that will help you to connect to your inner intelligence and wisdom.

  1. Take your awareness to your head centre.  Be aware of the breath.  Just observe any sensations there.  Just be aware of how the sensations may change if a thought comes into your mind and you begin to have a feeling or emotion about something or someone.
  2. Now take your awareness to your throat centre.  Be aware of the breath.  Just observe any sensations there.  If a thought comes into your mind and you begin to have a feeling or emotion about something or someone, just be aware of how the sensations may change.
  3. Take your awareness to your chest area.  Be aware of the breath.  Just observe any sensations there.  Be aware of the breath.  Just observe any sensations there.  Just be aware of how the sensations may change if a thought comes into your mind and you begin to have a feeling or emotion about something or someone.
  4. Take your awareness to your solar plexus, which is just below your rib cage.  Be aware of the breath.  Just observe any sensations there.  If a thought comes into your mind and you begin to have a feeling or emotion about something or someone, just be aware of how the sensations may change.

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