Written by: Stephanie Fox, MSW, LCSW
For Embark Counseling Services
Mindfulness is described as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment” (Kabat-Zinn, 2003).
We live in a world full of distractions. Alarms for reminders and appointments, alerts for social media, and pings for voicemails, emails, and everything in between. It is very easy to get lost in the noise in the world, noise in our head, and miss the moments in front of us. Mindfulness is wonderful opportunity to develop skills to assist in transitioning out of autopilot, training our attention, and enriching the present moments.
How to Do 5 Minute Mindful Breathing:
Find a comfortable position. Eyes can be open or closed, but it may help your focus to have your eyes closed. You may sit on the floor or on a chair. If sitting on a chair, uncross your legs. Keep your back upright, but not constricted. Find a comfortable spot for your tongue in your mouth. Rest hands in a comfortable position.
Take a breath. It may help to have your first breath be an exaggerated breath: inhaling through your nose for 3 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds. Draw your attention to your breath. You may notice the rise/fall of your chest or abdomen. You may notice cold air entering your body and warm air existing your body. Continue guiding your attention to your breath. Breathing in…breathing out.
Return your mind wandering. Our attention will always wander. This is normal, and will continue to occur in mediation and in life. When you notice your attention wandering, just notice it happened, let it go, and gently return your attention back to the breath. The process of redirecting your focus to the present is where the benefit comes in.
Let it go & practice compassion. Do not judge your thoughts or yourself. Let go if you are doing this right or wrong. It is easy to judge your wandering mind with statements of “I shouldn’t be thinking that” or “that’s stupid for me to be thinking of”. When you are arguing with your thoughts, you are arguing with yourself. Bring your attention back to your breathing. Do not judge yourself. Let it go. Return back to your breath.
Closure. After you complete your 5 minute mindful breathing, try focusing on the sensations of body throughout your day. Practice deep, mindful breaths throughout your day.
If you would like to progress, explore mindful body scans. However, if breathing is not a comfortable activity, try mindful walking or challenge yourself with completing a mindful ordinary task, such as teeth brushing. Noticing the sensations of the water, the bristles, the tooth paste.
For younger children, please feel free to check out this quick 5 Youtube videos. https://youtu.be/shR8DLyOkcg
Winston, D. (2016) A 5 Minute Breathing Meditation to Cultivate Mindfulness. Retrieved from: https://www.mindful.org/a-five-minute-breathing-meditation/.