5 Steps to Radical Awareness: Step 3
Manage Emotions – Three Minutes of Breathing
Spiritual growth begins with Awareness, awareness of the world around us and the fact that we may not see it clearly. Meditation, breathwork and other practices help us expand Awareness.
Here is the third of five short practices to expand Awareness and help us see more clearly.
This exercise is great when you feel emotional, particularly if you are caught up in anger. It can be done anywhere, anytime, but preferably when you won’t be interrupted for a minimum of three minutes.
Sit comfortably upright, spine supported. Put one hand on your belly, the other on your chest.
Bring your awareness to your breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose. Feel the air pass through your nostrils and your throat on its journey down to your lungs. Feel your lungs expand. Breathe fully until both of your hands move with your breath.
Exhale slowly through your nose and notice your hands move again with the contraction of your lungs.
Breathe this way for at least three minutes, focusing your attention on your breathing.
Now notice your emotional state. Have the emotions calmed a little? Conscious breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system – the aspect of our nervous system that calms our mind and body. You may feel drawn into the emotion again, particularly if it’s anger. Take a few more breaths. Emotions affect the clarity of our thinking and thinking that’s emotionally driven can lead to poor decisions. Use this breathing as often as you need to when trying to manage strong emotions and clear your vision of the problem or relationship that’s giving rise to the emotion.