Mindfulness and Breathing
When I was in university, I attended a course on mindfulness and mindful breathing. This easy relaxation technique has been very helpful to me for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to calm me down during overwhelming situations. Secondly, it helps me when I enter a post seizure phase. I often get very confused and disoriented after a seizure and focusing on my breath has helped me with this.
Mindful breathing is very basic, yet very powerful. The idea is simply to focus your attention on your breathing – to its natural rhythm and flow and the way it feels on each inhale and exhale. Focusing on your breath allows you to have an anchor, or an easy thing to focus on when you’re frustrated, overwhelmed, or disoriented.
I find it best with my eyes closed to maintain focus, but you can also leave your eyes open. I also find it best while laying down, but being in a seated position is also good. The process itself is very simple.
- Take a deep inhale through your nostrils (3 seconds).
- Hold your breath (2 seconds).
- Take long exhale through your mouth (4 seconds).
- Throughout the process focus on the in and out of your breath and the rise and fall of your chest.
Tune into your body and its natural rhythms. As you focus on your breath, tune into the small notions of your body like the placement of your tongue, the feeling under your fingers, the smell in the air, etc.
Don’t worry if you catch your mind wandering, just refocus on your breath. Let yourself practice this relaxation technique for about 3 to 5 minutes each time. I hope this helps you!