Breathing in Response to Stress

A 3-minute meditation to help you find calm and focus when you're stressed.

Now that we’re more familiar and have had some experience working with the 3-minute breathing space practice, we’re going to invite it into our lives in a very particular way: this time, we’re going to use it in response to something that may be causing us stress in our lives. 

What’s great is that we can either use this practice to prepare for something we expect will be stressful, or we can employ it after something stressful has happened, something we perhaps couldn’t anticipate.

Can you think of an event in your life that feels like some unfinished business? It could be an encounter that’s already happened, a tough conversation that you need to have in the coming days, an argument you had with someone last week. This doesn’t have to be huge event. In fact, I recommend you choose something that is fairly low in intensity. If you consider a 10-point scale of stress, with one being absolutely no stress and 10 being the most stress you’ve ever experienced, choose something that’s closer to a three, not one that would rank closer to a nine.

Take a moment to hold this event in mind—identifying who’s involved, identifying what happened.…

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About the author

Zindel Segal

Zindel Segal, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto – He has pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation for promoting wellness in the area of mood disorders and has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the past 15 years. An author of over 10 books and 140 scientific publications, including The Mindful Way Through Depression – a patient guide for achieving mood balance in everyday life – Dr. Segal continues to advocate for the relevance of mindfulness-based clinical care in psychiatry and mental health.