More on Mindful Breathing
- Whole-Heart Breathing – I have modified and expanded this great process from Thich Nhat Hanh. If comfortable close your eyes and simply breathe calming and deeply for a few breaths. Add you personal half smile and allow the soothing (sometimes very subtle) sensation to spread all over your face. Do not think about it happening, just allow it to happen. Now feel it down to the sides of your neck and out to your shoulders. Simply allow soothing subtle sensation to spread this way. Move it down the arms all the way to your fingertips. Recall a substance-free happy experience and smile more. Feel the emotion, even perhaps love. Now slowly and gently place both hands over your heart and rock gently. Continue for a couple minutes. Notice!
- Gratitude breathing – Breathe calmly, deeply and simply focus all of your attention on at least five things you know you have personal gratitude for. Sometimes very simply things can be very powerful here.
- Quicken-Breath – Breathe deeply and quick for a few breaths. Inhale through your nose and push the exhale out through your mouth. Force the exhalation out so you can here a quick puff. Blow the exhalation out. Continue for 5-6 breaths. Notice!
- Body-Breathing – Practice abdominal breathing for a few breaths. Now imagine and visualize the healing energy of the in-breath bringing wellness to your whole body. On the exhalation, imagine and visualize the out-breath removing all toxic feelings and substances from your body. Continue for 7-8 breaths.
- Stranding Tall Breath – Now stand up and assume the horse posture (feet at shoulders’ width apart and back gently straight. As you inhale deeply raise your arms from your sides upward toward the ceiling or sky. Imagine bringing in healing energy from your feet to the top of your head on each inhalation. As you exhale slowly bring arms down at the end. Continue for 5-6 breaths. Notice!
- Quintiliani’s Healing Breath – Practice abdominal breathing for a few breaths. Now imagine that with each inhalation you bring in something you seek (feelings of joy, calmness, safety, etc.). Practice for a while. Now imagine that with each exhalation you remove from your body-mind all negative mood states (sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, anger, etc.). Practice this for a while. Now do both – in with the good and out with the unhelpful. Notice!
For more refer to Quintiliani, A. R. (2014). Mindful Happiness…Shelburne, VT: Red Barn Books.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont
Author of Mindful Happiness