Written by:

Updated on:

February 7, 2024

When we’re stressed or anxious we often carry tension in the belly. Especially if our breathing becomes disturbed. The practice of soft belly meditation can return balance to our nervous system by activating the vagus nerve. 

When the belly is soft, our breathing becomes fuller and longer. More oxygen is exchanged, and the vagus nerve is activated. This triggers a parasympathetic nervous system response which helps guide us out of fight, flight or freeze mode. 

In this guided meditation script on soft belly breathing, we bring attention to the belly as we take slow, patient breaths. By doing our best to relax and soften the abdomen, we may feel more at ease. Practicing this style of breathing in formal meditation makes it more likely we may be able to do it in all sorts of real-life circumstances.

  • Practice Time: <10 minutes
  • Purpose: Balancing the Nervous System
  • May Help With: Mindfulness of the Body, Relaxation, Calm
  • Practice Level: Beginner
Download "Soft Belly" by entering your name and email below:

Here’s a Sample of the “Soft Belly Breathing To Invite In Calm” Guided Meditation Script:

So, to reduce anxiety,
start by taking a moment to relax your body..
soften any unnecessary tension in your belly and shoulder,
and find a posture that feels both relaxed and alert.

Now close your eyes
or look downwards
and rest your hands
in an easy effortless way.

Take a few moments
to scan your awareness
through the sensations of your body,
and wherever possible,
soften and release
obvious areas of physical tension.

Relax your breath,
and breathe in through your nose
and out through your mouth.
This may be a little unfamiliar,
but when done is a natural, easy going way,
it can be a very relaxing way to breathe.

In through your nose
and out through your mouth.

In through your nose
and out through your mouth.

soft belly meditation, Soft Belly Breathing To Invite In Calm

Now let your belly be soft.
If the belly is soft,
more oxygen goes to the bottom of the lungs.

There’s better oxygen exchange.

Oxygen moves more easily into the blood,
and it goes to all the cells in the body,
including the cells in the brain,
supplying your brain with the nourishment it needs.

If the belly is soft,
it helps to activate the vagus nerve.

Vagus means wandering,
and this nerve wanders up
through the abdomen and chest,
back to the central nervous system in the brain,
and it promotes relaxation.

It is an antidote
to the fight or flight stress response.

How to Use This Soft Belly Breathing Meditation Script

Breathing practices are safest when guided by those who have been trained to guide others in breathwork. Additional training in trauma-sensitivity is recommended, as breathwork can be stimulating, leading to an adverse reaction for some participants.

This particular belly breathing meditation script is suitable for beginners, as it does not ask participants to forcibly modify or retain the breath. The meditation merely invites one to bring mindfulness to their belly while breathing normally and naturally. 

Prior to teaching soft belly breathing to others, familiarize yourself with the practice. It should feel safe and supportive in your own body. This script may be read in person, live online, or recorded as either an audio or video meditation. 


Our breath is a powerful tool that can trigger change in the mind. When nervous, stressed or anxious, our belly gets tense and our breathing gets shallow. By altering the breath, we can also affect what is felt in the mind. Soft belly meditation is a beginner-friendly practice anyone can do for greater calm and ease. 

About the author 

Sara-Mai Conway

Sara-Mai Conway is a writer, yoga and meditation instructor living and working in Baja Sur, Mexico. In addition to online offerings, she teaches donation-based community classes in her tiny, off-grid hometown on the Pacific coast. She is a certified 500-hour Remedial Yoga and Applied Mindfulness Advanced teacher with Bodhi Yoga Spain under the Independent Yoga Network (UK).