Achtsamkeit: Was ist achtsames Atmen?

Mindfulness: What is mindful breathing?

Mindful breathing can make a difference when you’re stressed.

It is a tool with the function of bringing you back to the present moment.

Perhaps you also know this when you are stressed and mentally sink into a whirlpool?

Mindful breathing is your key to relaxation. It’s super easy to learn.

Find out how in this article.

What does mindful breathing mean exactly?

Mindful breathing is a simple exercise that anyone can do. Those who practice it regularly can benefit by reducing stress, gaining calm and clarity, and promoting happiness (Catherine, 2010; Kar, Shian-Ling, & Chong, 2014).

Mindful breathing is closely related to deep breathing. It combines the benefits of deep breathing with the process and techniques of mindfulness.

Our breath is our life force. When you breathe in, oxygen is transported to your cells. When you exhale, waste products are released in the form of carbon dioxide.

Different types of breathing have different effects on us. For example, rhythmic breathing has a balancing effect on your nervous system.

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Meditation of mindful breathing

This form of meditation is often combined with behavioral therapy or commitment therapy, which illustrates its positive effect.

The importance of mindful breathing is to gently bring your attention to your breath. You start to notice the inhale and exhale. You don’t try to change your breathing – you just let your breath flow. So there are no expectations of your breathing either, you are just noticing the present moment.

It’s about paying the most attention possible to the present moment. Your thoughts, emotions and sensations included.

Through mindful breathing you can gain a greater sense of control, better self-awareness, a greater sense of calm, a greater sense of inner peace and happiness. Greater resilience in relation to stressful times is also possible.

(Catherine, 2010; Joyce, Shand, Bryant, Lal, & Harvey, 2018; Vago & Silbersweig, 2012).

Mindful breathing and mindfulness meditations can relieve pain intensity.

The Cancer Support Center Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington recommends mindful breathing to its patients.

In doing so, the doctors found that the benefits of mindfulness meditation can alleviate symptoms by reducing pain and having fewer side effects than chemotherapy, such as less nausea, fatigue, anxiety and better immune system function.

This means that you can also benefit from these advantages.

Reduction of anxiety and nervousness

Mindful breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s “rest and digest” system. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, heart rate and blood pressure decrease, which in turn can help reduce anxiety (Vago & Silbersweig, 2012).

Mindful breathing can reduce burnout, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, and anxiety (Roy, Druker, Hoge, & Brewer, 2020).

Instructions

The use of breathing techniques is a good remedy for stress and nervousness.

Mindfulness exercises can also be used directly in the morning to relieve tension.

The following is an initial, simple guide:

While standing, bend forward from the hips with your knees slightly bent and let your arms dangle. Slowly take a deep breath while slowly rolling yourself back up. The last thing you do is lift your head. Then hold your breath for a few seconds in this standing position.

Exhale slowly through the mouth as you return to the starting position.

You can repeat the whole process 2-3 times.

Triangular breathing

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.
  2. Bring your awareness to your breath for a few breaths.
  3. Start with a few breaths of deep breathing.
  4. Imagine an inverted triangle with the horizontal base at the top.
  5. As you inhale, count to 4 and imagine that you are going up one side of the triangle with each count.
  6. Hold your breath for 4 counts as you imagine crossing the inverted triangle.
  7. Repeat this procedure for a few minutes.
  8. Exhale and count to 4, imagining that you are going down the other side of the triangle with each count.

Mindfulness Breathing

  1. Find a comfortable position that you can hold for a few minutes by sitting upright or lying on your back.
  2. Let go of any unnecessary tension and slowly bring your attention to your breath.
  3. Just observe your breath without trying to change it.
  4. Observe the movements and sensations in your body with each inhale and exhale.
  5. Let your attention travel with the air flowing through your nose and throat into your lungs, and feel the expansion of your chest and abdomen.
  6. Continue this for a few minutes.

5 minutes of breathing for mindfulness

All you have to do is find a comfortable and quiet place, set the timer on your phone to five minutes and follow these steps:

Step 1 – Take a deep breath and relax, with your eyes open or closed.

Step 2 – Close your eyes and drop all your worries as if you were setting down a heavy bag.

Step 3 – Now focus on your breath. Focus your full attention on the feeling of your breath.

Step 4 – Start counting your breaths silently – count from one to ten and then start again.

Step 5 – Deepen more and more into your breath.

Step 6 – Now direct your attention to the presence of the thoughts that are going through your mind. Notice them and then gently direct your attention back to your breath. This is the most important step in practicing mindfulness meditation.

Step 7 – Feel a growing sense of inner peace as you focus more and more on the breath. To finish the meditation, you can open your eyes, stretch out your hands and stand up.

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