Stress Self-Help

Focusing on breath

Following breath

Sensing the flow of air moving in and out of your nose and the breathing movement across your stomach and chest is a skill in concentration. You don’t need to change the way you breathe; simply pay attention to it.

While focusing on your breath, you might feel the urge to control it. Encourage yourself to let go and observe your body’s natural breathing. If the urge to control your breath persists, try taking a deep breath, and then let your body resume its natural breathing.

Distractions and thoughts

It requires time and practice to establish a consistent, uninvolved, and undistracted awareness of your natural breath. When you get distracted, gently, and patiently bring your attention back to your breath.

Following thoughts instead of following your breath is a common distraction, which will be addressed in practice 5.

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