La Trobe Counselling Service
- Count Breathing
Place your body in the mindfulness position, take a couple of seconds to focus on your body whilst settling into this exercise.
We’ll begin with a focus on breathing and extend or focus our attention by counting the breathe. So let’s begin with 3-count breathing. 3-count breathing is an exercise that’s used often to deal with anxiety so it’s a useful strategy to learn.
When you do 3-count breathing, I’d like you to breathe with me though a cycle on every second. So breathing in…1…2…3 out 1…2…3… in…1…2…3 out 1…2…3… As you breath and count, imagine the numbers or quietly whisper them to yourself imagine that your whole body is breathing in and counting, focusing all our mind and attention on the breath and counting. In…1…2…3… out 1…2…3… in…1…2…3 out…1…2…3 continue breathing in this pattern for the next brief period. Your mind will wander, that is ok, when you notice simply bring your attention back to counting 1…2…3…1…2…3…
Now let go of your attention on your breathing and return to normal breathing. Again bring your attention to focus on movement in your body. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Now in your own time, bring your focus back to the room and gently open your eyes and focus on the room.
10 Count Breathing
Today we will start with a 10 count breathing exercise. This practice takes into account that it is difficult to focus your mind at times. This practice gives you something to do whilst breathing so it is most useful for a beginner. You out the first 10 breathes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 then start again at 1. Simply counting the breaths. Somewhere along the way you may lose count or start thinking of something else. That is ok. Bring your attention back to 1 breath. Some people count past 10. If you notice this and get to 25 that is ok. Bring your attention back to 1.
Let’s begin. Start by placing your body in a mindfulness position, feet flat on the floor, straight back, shoulders relaxes, eyes closed, in a position where you are less likely to move. Start by bringing your attention on your breath.
What I would like you to do is to bring your attention back into your body as you breath, bringing your attention into the present moment, into the simple movement of your body. When you are ready begin counting the number of breaths, making sure that they are just normal, light even breaths and count through to 10. Breath in 1, breath out, 2, breath in 3, breath out, 4, continue counting in this way until you reach 10. When you get to 10, begin at 1 again. If along the way you get lost because your mind drifts, this is ok, begin again at number 1 counting though 10 breaths then beginning at 1 again.
Gently and in your own time, release your concentration, as we release this mindfulness practice. Open your eyes and focus on the room around you. Move and or stretch your body as we finish.