3 Minute Breathing Space Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is an effective resilience strategy that leads to increased focus, grounding, and ability to bounce back after things go wrong. Regular meditation practice, even if you only do this 3 Minute Breathing Space, can have an impact on your sense of well-being and flourishing. Learning to take a few moments every day to stop doing and simply be in this moment, serves to increase your capacity to cope with the next stressor; almost like a reset button.
Use the following meditation when you’re feeling unfocused or adrift, or use it on a regular basis to build up your personal resilience. (The script for the meditation can be found below.)
3 Minute Breathing Space
Written by: Zindel V. Segal
From his book: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
This exercise is a way to step out of “automatic pilot” and invite an awareness of the present moment.
Position yourself in a way that you can sit comfortably away from the back of your chair if possible. Bring length to your spine and keep a sense of softness in your posture. Rest your hands facing up or facing down on your things and lift each foot with care and gently place them back on the ground. Tuck your chin in slightly towards the chest and either close your eyes or look down towards the ground.
Focus on the Breath
Bring your awareness inwardly, and being to focus on your breath. Paying attention to the inhale, as your breath travels in your nose, down your throat and into your lungs, and then to exhale, as your breath travels out from your lungs, up through your throat and out of your nose or mouth. In this way, you can bind your awareness to your breath. There’s no need to change your breath in any way; there’s no need to make it deeper or fuller. Just notice the natural rhythm and pace of your breath. It amy even be helpful for you to say to yourself “I am breathing. I am breathing out.”
Now bring your awareness to physically sensations in your body. Perhaps notice the floor underneath your feet, the chair underneath your legs of other sensations in your body, including places of pressure, contact or temperature. (Pause.) Now, bring your awareness to your thoughts and notice what thoughts are popping up in your mind. There’s no need to get pulled in by any of these thoughts; as best as you can, just notice them as they occur and let them go. (Pause.) Now, bring your awareness to your feelings, perhaps noticing where they are in the body. Noticing any qualities linked to those feelings and not getting wrapped up in what they mean.
Expand your awareness to your whole body, so that in your minds eye you have a sense of your head, torso, arms, and legs resting here in the chair. Simply get a sense of your whole self, being here in the present moment. You might imagine that your whole body is breathing itself, with each inhale and each exhale. (Pause.) When you’re ready, open your eyes if they have been closed, shift position, and bring your awareness back into the room to close the practice.