Meditation is a popular form of stress reduction and the focus of a large self-help industry which includes mindful breathing. There are shelves and shelves of books written about how to meditate. They all have something in common.
Breathing is the core of all meditation programs and guides. We are all breathing 24 hours around the clock – constantly. We are all carrying around the ability to meditate. We only need to be aware of it. Awareness is the second key to meditation and mindful living. Breathing and awareness are not things that we need professional help with. We already know how to do both.
The first thing to know is that you can’t do it wrong. Breathing is an automatic function. However how old you are, your body has been breathing just fine without your input and will most likely do just fine for a long time to come.
Learning to meditate does not require much change. Change will come as a result of your meditation. You are breathing while you are reading this so just continue.
Becoming aware of your body’s excellent job of breathing is the awareness part of mindful meditation.
Bring your attention to your breath. Just notice it. Don’t judge it. Trust that you are breathing correctly. Don’t try to change how you are breathing. Simply notice how it feels. Notice the sensation of inhaling and exhaling. Let your body breathe. Don’t speed it up. Don’t slow it down. You are breathing just fine. Get to know how your body breathes for you. You are meditating.
Mindfulness is about being in the present, not thinking about the present, but experiencing it. Practicing a breathing meditation is mindful. You are in the present. You are breathing now. Your mind will wander from time to time. No problem. Your body is simply getting on without your input. Mindful breathing meditations help prevent stress as well as to de-stress you when needed. Breathe often.