How to Practice Mindful Breathing

Give yourself the gift of formally practicing this meditation every day, even for a
short period. It might be helpful to start off practicing mindful breathing for five minutes
once a day and build it up from there. Maybe you’ll find that you can add a second or
even a third five-minute session, practicing mindful breathing at different times of your
day. You can get additional benefit if you gradually extend your mindful breathing to
ten, fifteen, twenty, or even thirty minutes at least once a day.

Let this be a part of your practice of mindfulness that you look forward to doing, a special time for you to center
yourself and “return home” to your being. Feel free to use an alarm clock or timer; you
can download free meditation timers from the Insight Meditation Center
( that feature a pleasant sound.
Like other meditations offered in this book, mindful breathing can be incorporated
into your daily activities too. As far as where to practice informally, just about anywhere
works. Take a few minutes at home, at work, at the doctor’s office, at the bus stop, or
even while waiting in line to bring a little mindful breathing into your life. You can also
make it a habit to take a few mindful breaths right after you wake up, when you take a
morning break, at lunchtime, in the afternoon, at night, or right before you go to sleep.
Once you’ve practiced mindful breathing at these times, you can experiment with using it
when you’re feeling some angst, to help you calm the rush of panic in your body.


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