When discussing mediation and healing, I advocate learning an intentional breathing exercise that can help you empty your conscious mind. Whenever you encounter a stressful situation it puts your brain into “fight or flight” response mode. This is normal only if it brings our conscious focus on a situation requiring our immediate attention. If we are unable to let it go after the initial decision is made, it will build up inside us and make us ill over time.
To change our mode from “fight or flight” mode to “rest and digest” mode we must bring our focus away from the situation and calm our mind and body. I do this multiple times each day to stay focused on my goals and avoid unnecessary distractions from completing important projects. I typically do this by intentional breathing. I also practice this same exercise before walking onto stage to do a presentation, or before an interview or a class I am teaching. It is useful to get your mental focus away from a frustration that keeps you awake at night or distracts you from other important duties.
There are an infinite number of ways to do intentional breathing – the result is the same if it successfully clears your conscious mind and allows healing to ensue.
This is one that works effectively for me.
Before I describe the process I want to distinguish the difference between “diaphragm breathing” and “chest breathing”. For those of you who are singers you may have learned diaphragm breathing from your music teachers. You will recall that you can fill your lungs by distending your tummy area while inhaling. Your tummy and rib cage will expand as you inhale. Chest breathing is the natural state of breathing which autonomic nervous system does for us all day and night automatically without intention or thought.
In my breathing exercise I first take a deep diaphragm breath and exhale.
Next, I take a series of four intentional breaths as follows:
After completing four breaths, focusing only on breathing and counting, I take two more deep breaths (inhale and exhale) without counting or holding my breath, and then rest to a natural breathing rhythm with my empty conscious mind until I feel goosebumps. Because I do this multiple times each day I often feel the goosebumps on my first breath and continue to feel it throughout the exercise. Goosebumps is my internal biofeedback to confirm I am in a meditative state. See my post on Mediation to learn more.
Even without a long guided meditation this exercise will begin to help you open your mind to the abundance of the universe and assist the natural healing processes of your body.