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Soothing Anxiety with Breath Awareness

Soothing Anxiety with Breath Awareness. An anxious mind that’s busy with worry can’t just be told to be quiet. But giving the mind a job to do, such as watching the breath, you can trick the mind into settling down. Next time you find yourself occupied with anxiety, spend five minutes or more on breath awareness and teach your mind to slow down.

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Find a quiet place where you can be free from distractions
And take a comfortable seat that promotes good posture
Set a timer for 5 minutes or longer,
But choose a meditation length that will allow you to feel successful
Consistent meditation of just 5 minutes per day, is far better than one occasional 30-minute session

With your eyes opened or closed, breathe gently in and out through your nose
And then as you sit here, watching the breath
Draw attention to your heart, and your desire to experience clam, peace and ease
Connect to this yearning inside of you
And then silently, to yourself
Commit to remaining here, for the duration of your timer
And commit to the practice of simply watching and noticing the breath
And then having made that heartfelt commitment,
Return to your job, which is breath awareness

Perhaps settling in on the feeling of the breath
As it moves in and out through your nose
From the tip of the nose
To the space between your eyebrows

Or sensing the breath as it fills and expands your lungs
Then empties again

Or aware of the breath as it moves all the way down into your belly

Or spaciously sensing the overall rise and fall of the body
With each breath in, and each breath out

Listen, for the ways in which the breath is speaking to you
Stay open, stay curious
And remain free from any judgment or self-criticism
The breath is perfect right now, just as it is
Your role, is simply to watch

(pause 2 breaths)

Eventually, you’ll notice the mind has wandered from breath awareness
When this happens, spend no time wondering why
Spend no time asking where the mind has gone to
Spend no time on self-blame
Simply turn the mind around, as quickly as you can
And come back to your job of watching the breath

Soothing Anxiety with Breath Awareness

Go right back to that space in the body
Where you notice the breath most clearly
Returning perhaps to a sense of awe, wonder or amazement
How precious is this one cycle of breath?

(pause 2 breaths)

And again, if you find yourself distracted
Repeat this same process
Return to the breath
Do this as many times as you need to

(pause 2 breaths)

Each time the mind wanders, turn the mind around without pausing to self-criticise

(pause 2 breaths)

Stay right here,
Present, aware, and honoring your intention
This intention, this job, of watching the breath

(pause 2 breaths)

With practice, you’ll notice sooner when the mind has wandered
With practice, you’ll return to breath awareness more quickly
With practice, you’ll remain present with the breath for longer intervals between distractions

(pause 2 breaths)

So continue to practice, until your timer has gone off

And when your practice is complete,
Take a moment to recognize the goodness in the work you have done
Recognize the benefits of the effort you have made
Dedicate your efforts to your own healing,
And to the healing of all beings, everywhere.


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