Know Your Breath
Part 3: Fatigue: Settle into your everyday breath. After it has slowed down, pause briefly after all exhalations. Rest in the stillness. Continue to explore lengthening your exhalations for 10-15 breaths. Then lengthen your inhalations. Watch your breath for 10-15 minutes.
Part 4: Depression: Working with depression can be more difficult that working with anxiety or fatigue. You don’t want to force your breath. It can increase your lousy mood. As with any breathwork, start by settling into a comfortable position and allow your breath to slow down and smooth out. For depression, the effect of the breath on your mood is the best indicator of how long you should continue this exercise. Start out with a time goal – say ten minutes. Work your way up as you need to.
How often do you need to practice? There’s no pat answer. It’s a practice like any other and the more you exercise your ability to watch your breath, the better you’ll become at doing it. If you can, schedule a breath awareness for 10 minutes a day. See how it is when you are anxious vs. relaxed. Pay attention to how long the positive feeling lasts. You may find that conscious breathing not only soothes your emotions and boosts your energy; it can also make your life richer and more fun!
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