Mindful Breathing Exercise

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In this exercise we focus our attention on the breath. There are many types of relaxed breathing exercises out there, but there are a few things that set mindful breathing apart. Many relaxed breathing exercises attempt to change how we breathe. This is not the case in mindful breathing. Mindfulness focuses on awareness and acceptance. Rather than attempting to change the breath, mindful breathing focuses on drawing our attention to all of the subtle nuances of the breath. We attempt to do this in a nonjudgmental manner, but of course there will be moments when we have judgmental thoughts about our breathing (e.g., “my breathing is too shallow;” or “I’m not doing this right”). When we catch ourselves judging, rather than judging our judging, we simply turn our attention back to the infinite details there are to discover about the breath. When doing this exercise, what did you notice about your breath? Where did you feel the breath most strongly? Was there something new you learned about your breathing? Was there something new you learned about yourself?


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