BREATHING SPACE MEDITATION
This is a short meditation that can be useful for those moments when we are troubled by difficult thoughts, feelings, or sensations. Things that we often react to in ways that are not helpful for us.
Not only can it help in the moment though. By practicing this meditation regularly, over time we teach our mind to approach these difficulties in a different way. Almost like inserting a few-second gap when things happen, a 'breathing space', allowing us to choose how we react.
This is undoubtedly the single-most valuable skill I have ever learned. And practicing it has been worth every second.
I developed this short relaxation exercise to help my patients with stress and anxiety to be able to practice finding a place of calm and relaxation. When we are stressed or anxious, our minds get used to being in that place, being overwhelmed, we are caught up in those racing thoughts and our bodies respond to that by keeping us in that fight-or-flight mode, which keeps the heart and the mind racing and the vicious cycle going round and round.
But we do have the inherent ability to calm and soothe ourselves. I’m not saying it's easy. But the good news is that if we practice it, we get better at it. And it doesn’t take long before we can get to a place where our mind quickly recognises the calming signals we are giving it and responds by calming.