Try this simple breathing exercise to focus the mind and banish intense emotions such as anxiety, anger, depression, self-loathing, and resentment by practicing a breath count mantra.
Mantra is a Sanskrit term for a word or group of words that are repeated to enter a state of meditation. This word or group of words is an instrument meant to focus the mind, to end self-created suffering. Some may also call it prayer. Whatever you call it, use it. It is a powerful tool.
I believe it is so powerful because it forces the mind to focus, instead of allowing hurtful thinking to run wild. This focus will allow you to be more present to experience your precious life unfolding in the now rather than being trapped in illusions of the mind. These illusions will keep you trapped in distressing thoughts from the past or worries for the future.
With continued practice focusing the mind on the mantra and the breath, intense thoughts don’t stand a chance and fall away, easing your mental suffering.
After all, most of the time, it’s not the situation that is bothersome, it is our thoughts about the situation that create suffering.
The good news is: we are not our thoughts and each moment we can let them go and focus to ease our self-created pain.
I’d like to share with you one of my favorite mantras that I pair with deep breaths and a breath count. This has gotten me through some difficult times when I experienced the beginning stages of panic attacks, depressive, self-loathing and vengeful thoughts. Practicing this breath count mantra brings me great peace of mind and heart. I hope it does the same for you.
Practice ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. Especially when intense thoughts are running wild. The more you practice, the more benefit you will see. The results of this practice are entirely up to you!
- As you inhale, silently repeat, INHALE 1
- As you exhale, silently repeat, EXHALE 1
- Inhale, silently repeat, INHALE 2
- Exhale, silently repeat, EXHALE 2
Continue with the count, starting over whenever you get distracted. You will get distracted! If the awareness wanders 100 times, come back 100 times; that is the practice. Continue with this breath count mantra until intense thoughts and emotions subside. This may take awhile, but release expectations and allow yourself to ease suffering on a deeper level.