Here’s a tip to use when you are feeling anxious. In the practice of mindfulness, the breath is often used as the focus to come back to when we drift off into thinking. However, I have noticed myself and often with hear from clients that focusing on the breath increases anxiousness.
Why is that? This tip is about using a problem solving approach to learn why the focus on breath increases the anxiousness. With curiosity, patience and the thinking of a mechanic, look at what is happening as you breathe. How deep or shallow is it? Does it feel like there is an obstruction? Where is the inhale going into? How fast or slow is the breath? If you notice that you are thinking other thoughts, bring your attention back to this inquiry, patiently. Get a good description of what is happening with your breathing.
Breathing that fills the belly and moves up to the chest, that is evenly paced, and that is slowly released is stabilizing. How does your breathing compare?
The next step in problem solving is to consider options for fixing the problem. Now having an idea about what is not working, what would help your breathing to become more stabilizing? Try it out; see how it works. If it does, may you be peaceful. If it doesn’t work, try the process again with curiosity and patience and without judgment. Let me know how this problem solving process works for you; send a comment on my facebook page.