Belly breathing is an especially grounding and relaxing way of breathing. It’s simple and soothing. In this Belly Breathing for Anxiety meditation, we’ll take advantage of the calming effects of belly breathing, but we’ll also use it to help keep us from focusing on the anxiety (which tends to make it stronger).
What you resist persists. A key to managing anxiety is to let go of resistance. Let it be there. Trying to push anxiety out or make it go away doesn’t work. What does work is to focus on something else, like the breath. Simply allow the anxiety to be present.
Sensations and emotions come and go. Anxiety comes and goes. Just knowing that no state of mind or body lasts forever can help. All feeling states are temporary. If we don’t fuel it with our attention and worry thoughts, the anxiety will eventually subside on its own.
The soothing nature of belly breathing is enhanced if we pay attention to what it feels like to breathe in this way. Notice the soothing feeling. The body feels good with this breathing — when in the grip of anxiety the chest muscles are constricted, the breath is constricted, perhaps shallow and rapid. Belly breathing encourages relaxation and slower, deeper breaths. Notice how your body feels with this breathing. Both anxiety and the soothing breath may be experienced at the same time. You can choose to “favor” the breath and the pleasant feeling.
Once you’ve done belly breathing with the meditation a number of times, you will have developed a new habit. You’ll feel less threatened by anxiety, more comfortable with it, and you can do belly breathing anywhere, anytime you need to.
This meditation is our gift to you from our At Ease — Anxiety & Worry Relief app. Worry and anxiety usually go hand in hand. Learning how to deal with worry is a key to having less anxiety. The app has this and two other breathing meditations for anxiety, but it also provides a program to help you understand and break the “anxiety worry spiral”.
We hope you enjoy this meditation and would love to hear your comments and questions. Wishing you calm days ahead!