Why breathing meditation is so important and what it does

09For thousands of years, people have been practicing meditation – completely independent of their culture or religion. Thus, they developed many different ways to reach the state of simultaneous relaxation and concentration. However, it is anything but easy to remain in this state, because rising fears, negative thoughts, burdensome memories and physical as well as mental pain distract. This is exactly when it can be helpful to focus completely on your own breathing: How deeply am I breathing? Where does my breath flow? How consciously do I experience my breathing pauses?

What is a so-called breathing meditation?

When the stress of everyday life takes over, people tend to switch from deep abdominal breathing to shallow chest breathing. This is mainly due to the fact that the abdomen tenses due to stress as well as fears and worries. Breathing meditation counteracts this condition: it helps to become aware of one’s own breathing again, to bring body and mind into harmony and to find one’s way back from tense chest breathing to relaxed and deep abdominal breathing. However, the breaths should not be controlled, but only consciously perceived. Breathing becomes an object of meditation, a focus point on which you can concentrate. This helps you to keep your thoughts in check and to block out external stimuli.

For whom is breathing meditation suitable?

Through this meditation technique, especially people who are easily distracted can sink deeply into a meditative state, learn mindfulness and find inner balance. Breathing meditation is easy to learn and can be used without prior knowledge or certain prerequisites. It is therefore the perfect introduction to the world of meditation.

How do I prepare for a breathing meditation?

To start a breath meditation you don’t need to do much preparation. You should only take 10-60 minutes and retreat to a place where you are undisturbed. Sit on a chair or cushion with your back straight and place your hands in your lap. Whether you close your eyes during meditation or leave them open is up to you.

Instructions for a breathing meditation

  • Sit upright but relaxed so that you do not feel any pain.
  •  To arrive consciously in the here and now, breathe deeply through your nose into your stomach and out again a few times.
  • Direct your attention consciously to your breathing and feel how it flows through your body.
  • Do not influence your breaths, just let them happen.
  • Focus on lifting your abdomen or chest.
  • As soon as you notice a thought forming in you, notice it for a moment and put it aside.
  • You will notice how your breath gradually calms and deepens.
  • Also consciously notice the change in your breathing without influencing it.
  • Now slowly return your mind to the here and now.
  • Feel your entire body for a few moments.
  • Take the relaxed feeling of your deep abdominal breathing into your everyday life.Sitze aufrecht aber entspannt so, dass du keine Schmerzen verspürst.

4 points to keep in mind during your breathing meditation

1. The pauses between the breaths
During meditation, make yourself aware of the beginning and the end of your breath. This way you will be aware of the pauses in your breaths without actively influencing them.

2. Do not lose focus on your breathing
It is perfectly normal for your thoughts to wander during meditation – especially if you are not yet practiced in it. Don’t be hard on yourself, but be aware of the thoughts, inner images, memories and emotions before putting them aside and focusing on your breathing again. Having already focused on the pauses in your breathing, now try to consciously notice and stay with the entire breath.

3. Let the thoughts go
Especially when everyday life is stressful, it is difficult to create uninterrupted moments of mindfulness. However, letting your thoughts wander during meditation affects their impact on your body and mind. Therefore, let the thoughts go and do not try to suppress them. Notice them, let them go and focus on your breathing again.

4. Conteract fatigue
Stress keeps the body awake. Quiet and relaxed moments of mindfulness thus also always carry the risk that the body will get tired and you will fall asleep. If you notice that fatigue is overtaking you, correct your posture: sit up straighter, open your eyes if necessary, and consciously take a few deep and forced breaths. After this conscious manipulation of breathing, return to your natural, unaffected breathing.

What are the effects of breathing meditation?

Breathing meditation has positive effects on your health in the following areas. It …

  • strengthens the immune system
  • lowers stress levels
  • calms the pulse and heartbeat
  • decreases nervousness
  • reduces feelings of anxiety
  • leads to improved concentration
  • improves lung capacity
  • lets pent-up anger evaporate
  • has a positive effect on chronic pain
  • calms the emotional life
  • helps to process grief more easilystärkt das Immunsystem

What are the advantages of breathing meditation in everyday work and management?

Breathing meditation harmonizes body and mind and has a positive effect on your everyday work and leadership life. This is mainly because through this mindfulness exercise you learn to observe thoughts and arising feelings without judging. Through the practice, your breathing becomes a neutral grounding in your stomach, guiding you away from judgmental and negative thoughts in your mind. This positive effect of meditation on your inner balance has been scientifically proven: Brain researchers have found that regular meditation can cause activity to change in those areas of the human brain that regulate physical and emotional sensations. Humans have thus learned to cope better with stress and to no longer let themselves be upset so quickly by external circumstances.

Leading with mindfulness

A mindfulness exercise such as the breathing meditation allows you to lead your team with calmness even in stressful situations and to face difficult situations with an adapted leadership behavior. This reduces the stress level of you and your employees. As a manager, trainer or consultant, would you like to help teams in organizations achieve more mindfulness and innovative power? Discover our courses for Mindfulness in Organizations and get certified.

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In addition, by participating in a mindfulness seminar, you can strengthen your resilience in everyday life and learn to adequately deal with life’s adversities and learn to grow from them.

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