Racing Thoughts? A Modified Breathing Meditation

For some people, the breathing exercise is very difficult.  I often hear of problems withIMG_0001 mind racing, thoughts going so fast that they cannot be calmed or ignored, or a worry or a thought that is so persistent that the person cannot concentrate on the breath.

Do you sometimes or always have this problem?

You try to calm yourself with breathing, or you start to do some meditation with breathing, but you cannot do this.  Thoughts interfere, or your thoughts race.  You have so much on your mind that your thinking keeps going like a race car that is out of control.  Breathing is a good idea….BUT…You just can’t seem to do it.

Try this:

Start as before, by setting a timer for however long you plan to meditate.  I suggest 10 minutes for starters, but if you have less time, then start with less time.  (Remember, don’t make perfection the enemy of the good.)

Get comfortable, sit or lie down with respect for yourself, be balanced, and your body straight if possible.

Start to breathe in any way that is comfortable for you.  Breathe in, then out.  As you get to the bottom of the out breath count “one.”

Breathe in, then out. As you get to the bottom of the out breath count “two.” And breathe in again.

Continue to do this until you reach the count of ten, then start over counting from one.

Relaxed woman

Relaxed woman

If you lose your place, or you get distracted, simply go back to counting where you last remember, or you can start over from one.  It doesn’t matter.

It is important to remember that this is not a competition.  You do not get a reward for counting to ten, or for counting to ten more times than you did yesterday.  This is a way to help you focus, to allow yourself to get in touch with your breathing in spite of having a lot on your mind.

Reward yourself, say a kind positive word to yourself once you have finished.