What is Breathing Meditation?

Meditation is a practice of using the mind and body to reach a peaceful, calming state of relaxation. Breathing meditation is the first stage of meditation where the concentrated focus is on the breath. Increasing awareness of the breath in the present moment can reduce stress and promote relaxation. Breathing meditation for a short time each day can make a person much healthier and much happier (Wilber, M. 2003).

breathing meditation

Use Meditation for Stress, Anxiety, Anger, Exhaustion, and Burnout

With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. There is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Pressures and tiredness make one unhappy, impatient and frustrated. This kind of stress influences one’s health. The power of conscious and subconscious minds and the affect of the way one thinks, feels and believes, greatly impacts one’s physical, mental and spiritual fitness. The peace of mind and strength of body that meditation induces makes for a better sense of all around well being.

Stress affects people in many ways. Emotionally, stress can result in anxiety, depression, tension, anger, apathy and hopelessness. Cognitively stress can affect the way one thinks, their ability to concentrate, their memory, their decision making abilities and their ability to learn. Physically, the pressures of stress can lead to carelessness, accidents, injuries, eating problems, sleeping problems, and negative and unhealthy behaviors.

Subconscious layers of anger, depression, anxiety, fear, phobias, and sadness built up over years and years can be relieved by breathing meditation. Meditation gives one more time by focusing the mind and making it calmer. Just ten or fifteen minutes of breathing meditation can help overcome stress and lead to inner peace. It refreshes and rejuvenates the body (Wilber, M. 2003).

How to Perform Breathing Meditation

In her article, Stress Management, published in Jan. 2003 for gastroenterology nursing, Wendy Ruthstiver explains how to perform breathing meditation. Choose a quiet place to meditate. Sit in a comfortable position with legs crossed. The back should be kept straight to prevent the mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.

Sit with eyes partially closed and attention turned to the breath. Breathe naturally, through the nostrils. Be aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is the object of meditation. Try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.

In the beginning, the mind will be very busy, but that is just the experience of heightened awareness. There may be a temptation to follow different thoughts as they arise, but resist this and try to remain focused on just the sensation of the breath. When the mind begins to wander off on different thoughts, immediately return the mind to the breath. Repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.

Relieving Restlessness, Discomfort, Pain and Tension Takes Practice

Some people will experience feelings of restlessness or discomfort in the beginning because their body may be so tense that at first it tries to resist relaxing. It is so used to being under tension and pressure. Once this stress reducing technique is mastered, the mind and body will be much stronger and healthier and ready to face the pressures that await the day. By practicing each day totally focusing on breathing, the body will eventually let go and allow a rejuvenating, healing process to take place. Coping with daily life will be easier (Ruthstiver, W. 1999).

The more one practices breathing meditation, the deeper the relaxation and the more benefits the body receives. Practiced breathing meditation leads to a perfect balance between mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.

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