Now you’ve observed the scene once as normal, we’re going to try something we haven’t done before over the last eight days – ready?
As you watch the scene again, whilst looking ahead at what you see in front of you, become aware and notice your thoughts as they come in – if they come in. Don’t attach any emotion to them or make a mental note to think about that later – simply observe that you are having a thought and gently push it aside, like a raindrop disappearing in the water. Note how many thoughts pop in.
How many thoughts did you have during this 45 second replay?
Take some more deep breaths and replay the scene again. This time, concentrate on your breath. Breathe in slowly and deeply for 5-8 seconds, hold for 3-4 seconds, then exhale slowly for 5-8 seconds. See how many breath cycles you can make it through before the video ends.
How many thoughts did you notice this time?
Feel free to play with this mind tool of Breath vs Thoughts and see if you can make it through the full 45 seconds without being distracted from your breathing. You will not be able to stop your thoughts, they occur naturally, but you can gently bring your focus back to your breath. It is incredibly liberating emotionally, being able to gently discard your thoughts without judgment and step into the role of the observer. It’s your new superpower!
“Breath” and “energy” are terms used interchangeably in Eastern philosophy when teaching meditation and mindfulness techniques. You will notice your breathing quicken automatically when you are agitated, angry, scared or upset. This will be in direct correlation to the energy state in your body at that moment. Heightened, fast, frantic or panicked for example. It is reasonable to assume that if we were able to slow our breathing down in these moments, our heightened energy state would reduce along with it.
Would you like to have the ultimate control over your emotional state at any given time? Or at least better control? Would you like to be able to reduce their power of your emotions over you at heightened times? Here are some breathing techniques you can research and practice in your own time, giving you a powerful set of tools to use in times of anguish, stress, panic or sadness:
If you’re interested in looking further into the science behind how deep breathing regulates stress and anxiety, there is a wealth of information online so dive in and relax deep!