Three Minute Breathing Space


Video by Jon Kabat Zinn

The purpose of the 3-minute breathing space is to help you step out of automatic pilot, move into the present moment and slow down so you can respond more skillfully to stressful situations. The goal of this exercise isn’t to take away negative feelings but rather to create more space in which to respond with greater perspective.

When stress becomes chronic or overwhelming, it may be helpful to have guidance from a teacher. Join us for our next Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course starting in March. More information.

TAKE A MOMENT TO PAUSE

Step 1:
Notice what is going on with you right now
Whatever thoughts may be around
Whatever feelings or emotions…any sensations in the body
Just tuning into the what the weather pattern inside you is right now
Continue being open to this for a few moments

PAUSE

As best you can letting go of the tendency that we all have of wanting things to be different than they are right now.

See if you can allow things to be just as they are right now in your mind and in your body.

Step 2:

Gathering your attention on your breath…down in your abdomen as you breathe in and out. Not trying to make the breath do anything special or be different than how you found it…just focusing on the sensations of the inbreath and the outbreath.

And if the mind wanders, gently escorting the attention back to the breath and the sensations of breathing.

PAUSE

Step 3:

Expand attention to the body of the whole…as if the whole body could breathe right now. You could be aware of all the sensations in the body from the top of the head to the toes to the fingertips…to the sensations of the skin…and all the sensations inside your body as well. Aware of the whole landscape of sensations in the body.

PAUSE

Once again, see if you can allow the sensations to be exactly as find them…not trying to change them in any way. A sense of opening to what’s here right now.

PAUSE

A sense of coming home to the body and allowing yourself to be exactly as you are…moment by moment…breath by breath.

PAUSE

And then at a certain point, beginning to move fingers and toes…letting your eyes open if they were closed…and resuming the activities of your day.  This 3 minute breathing space provides a way to step out of automatic pilot and reconnect with the present moment.

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