During these uncertain times I have decided to share one of the simplest, most powerful tools in my arsenal: counting breath meditation. This is a simple practice that works great as in introduction to meditation. It is also great to help you relax and deal with anxiety. Counting breath meditation works really well if you have trouble falling asleep. Many of my clients report that they fall asleep quicker and sleep much better when they practice counting breath meditation. You can benefit from this practice by following a few easy steps.
First you want to find a comfortable position. This can be lying in bed, sitting in a chair or on a mat. Whatever position you are in, let your body find a position where you feel no strain or stress. Begin to focus on your breath. Notice the inhale and exhale. Now you will begin to count your breath. Each inhale is an odd number and each exhale is an even number. Count from one to ten then repeat. Inhale one, exhale two, inhale three, exhale four and so forth until you get to ten. Then repeat for a desired length of time or until you feel calm or fall asleep.
I recommend beginning this practice by setting a timer for 3 minutes. This will help with anxiety and thoughts of not knowing when to stop. Once you feel comfortable with 3 minutes you can begin to increase the time by 30 seconds until you get to 10 minutes. Once you get to 10 minutes you might want to try it without a timer. You can play calming music in the background. You can also play calming sounds such as ocean or rain sounds.Of course if you are doing this before bed you can forgo the timer.
This may be difficult at first. If you find that you lose your place while counting you can simply start over. If random thoughts come into your head, acknowledge them without judgment then bring your awareness back to your breath and return to counting. You don’t have to do this meditation practice everyday, although some people might like to have a regular routine. At the end of the day the most important thing is to remember that this is your practice. Modify it as needed to find what works for you and keep working at it. If this meditation practice does not work for you remember that there are many types of meditation out there you just have to find the right one for you. I hope this helps you find peace and tranquility.
If you try this practice feel free to share your results below.