“Letting Go “ Breathing

Sometimes the best way to experience fewer painful emotions is to simply let them go. It's not possible to avoid all painful feelings. Everyone will, at one point or another, feel anger, sadness, fear or shame. For some these emotions tend to linger. In order to reduce the amount of time you spend in negative emotions, try the exercise below.

As you breathe in, you say to yourself: "Mindfully breathing." As you breathe out, you say to yourself: "Letting go of X …" (here you insert whatever you'd like to have less of such as anxiety, tension, anger, judgments, perfectionism, etc.). You can select one thing to let go of and say that recurrently or let go of a whole series that comes to mind. Eventually, the practice often reduces to: Mindfully breathing, Letting go.

This breathing exercise can be done alone or practiced in a group. In a group one can go around the room with each member saying aloud what he or she would like to let go of. Those who don’t want to participate can say, “pass.” This can be done with several rotations. This tends to build a sense of group cohesiveness in addition to teaching a mindful breathing skill.

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