Mindful breathing sounds so simple that we tend to overlook it as a thing in itself. But let's consider mindful breathing as something that can
Most people who practice mindful breathing quickly come to realise how central the breath is to being fully present in one's body. It's a foundation from which you can become more self-aware: you can respond rather than react to things.
Once you've learnt this core practice you can return to it naturally whenever you need a reset. It's a very literal connection of what is actually happening right now, as opposed to the whirlwind that can happen when the mind comes up with various interpretations of things.
How to start
You can do this lying down or standing up. Notice what difference the position of your body makes to the feeling of your breath. To begin, just notice that you are breathing. That's it. Just notice the breath and the body as it is. As you follow the breath in, follow it with your whole attention for the entire length of the in-breath -- as it comes in your nose, passes down your throat and into your lungs. As you breathe out, follow with all you attention the feeling of air leaving the lungs, passing through the throat and coming out through your mouth or nose. If you become distracted, simply return to where the breath is in its cycle.
Variation 1: hold a finger horizontally under your nose, and see if you can feel the breath on your finger. Try to sense the difference between the in-breath and the out-breath. Can you detect the differences in temperature, moisture quality, and so on?
Variation 2: use the breath to gather information about your state of mind. Gently note what the breath is doing and where your mind and body are right now, what that might tell you about your current preoccupations, and whether there is any shift after the practice.
These are some things to consider when doing this or any practice. Use them sparingly. It's not a check-list, rather something to consider briefly.
I hope this helps you. It can be challenging to remember to do this at all when we're stressed. Sometimes starting this practice for 2 minutes first thing in the morning can help it become more familiar. Good luck.
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