Written by Mindfulness Coach Paola Francesi


A journey to explore Mindfulness: Breathing.  

MBSR is based on group work to build progressive awareness of mindfulness.

The main parts are mindful meditation, body scanning and simple yoga postures.

During body scanning, awareness is raised on various parts of the body from toes to the top of the head, moving gently and slowly from one to the other.

Mindfulness is the very foundation of MBSR and helps to act against chaos and craziness by practicing mindfulness.  Meditation is mainly about focusing on a sound or phrase in order to avoid or reduce distractive thoughts.

Every single moment of mindfulness involves looking at and welcoming, accepting fear, anger, and disappointment with no judgement in mindfulness meditation.  The present moment as it is, as we find it exactly good bad pleasant or unpleasant.  Yoga increases strength, body flexibility, oriented meditation used with mindfulness techniques.

Deep breathing (controlled both at an unconscious level), is one of the most empowering resources. Breathing is in fact a life force. All living things breathe. It facilitates anchoring and grounding and alleviates stress, provide a sense of relief.   Practicing on breathing means meditating as well.


A few tips for effective breathing :

Breathing helps keep the flow of oxygen in the body and is a real life force.

Taking a deep breath helps clear the mind especially when we feel stressed and fearful.

Learning how to breathe is a form of meditation itself and part of spirituality   (to make it become subconscious)

It is consciously regulated by parts of our brain that intensify the breathing depending on the needs and is regulated during various activities (e.g. running, singing, etc.) If we did not inhale there would be a level of carbon dioxide forming and making us really want to naturally breathe.  Oxygen levels would drop low and eventually make us stop living.

Could we stop breathing?

No, we would lose consciousness but we then resume breathing naturally.

Breathing increases heart rate, too. It is a 2 way communication to adjust the pace, especially for anxiety.

Because deep breathing work and cleanse, relaxes mind and body, increases energy (chi), peace euphoria,  releases physical pain and makes healing faster. We become more receptive to affirmations and creativity.  It slows down brain waves, expands awareness of the self and the world, energizes wellbeing, releases negative energies, and enhances concentration.  During moments of stress and anxiety focusing on the breathing can be beneficial.

Three minute breathing exercise can be an example to physiologically regulate thought processes.

Shallow breathing is common when we are stressed (to facilitate energy saving mechanisms).


Organically shift to deep breathing.

The 4- 7 -8 breathing technique can help alleviate stress and anxiety, relaxes the muscles.

It is a natural tranquillizer, slows breathing down.  It cleanses the body of toxins and stress.

Inhale top the count of 4, hold the breath to the count of 7 release 8. It is very simple and involves deep breathing to detoxify.  It cleanses the nervous system whenever is needed.

Start to become loose and limp, allow breathing to become a rhythmical pattern Keep doing this until you feel relaxed and grow peacefulness.  Breathe in relaxation, breath out any tensions.

Close mouth inhale through the nose, a whoosh sound.

Inhale to four, hold for 7 release to 8. Three or four times would be ideal.

When stress is overtaking this helps naturally cleanse activates parasympathetic nervous system. (associated with a fight or flight response). Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere (lungs expanding, full attention on the breathing and how you feel).


Text © Paola Francesi





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