The 3 Minute Breathing Space For Chronic Pain and Anxiety

chronic pain and anxiety
Louisa Mailis
Written by
Louisa Mailis Mindfulness

The 3 Minute Breathing Space is a great way to start to observe the sensation of breathing while allowing your body to calm. It is an excellent tool when living with chronic pain and anxiety or depression or if you are just in need of a little relaxation. All that is required is a few minutes of your time, a comfortable space, and your undivided attention.

The following are several short and simple practices that will allow you to turn your attention to your breath in order to calm your nervous system, facilitate stress reduction and reduce feelings of pain.

4-Square

The 4-Square method requires you to regulate the inhale and exhale to the count of 4 seconds. Here is how it works:

  • Inhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold for 4 seconds
  • Exhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold for 4 seconds

4, 6, 8 Breathing

This method is another time-based breathing exercise that follows this pattern:

  • Inhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold for 6 seconds
  • Exhale for 8 seconds
  • You can always modify the time for the inhale and exhale to your liking

Alternating Nostrils

In this practice you are going to gently press on one side of your nose with your index finger, restricting air flow to the other, open nostril and inhale deeply. Then you will release your index finger and use your thumb to close the opposite nostril and exhale. Repeat this for 3 minutes.

Whether you are using the 3-minute breathing space in your car, at home, at work, or anywhere else, is a practical and simple tool to start to train your brain to focus on the moment. Over time, you can gradually increase how long you do this and you will get better at pausing and self-regulating no matter what challenges life throws your way. This is an amazing tool when learning to cope with chronic pain and anxiety. 

Louisa Mailis
Written by
Louisa Mailis Mindfulness

Louisa Mailis is a Meditation Teacher, Mindset Coach, and Director of the Mindfulness Program at the Pain and Wellness Centre in Vaughan, Ontario. She holds two Masters Degrees and is a Certified Professional Life Coach. She received her mindfulness training at the University of Toronto and obtained a Certificate Degree in Applied Mindfulness and Meditation, as well as facilitator training in Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management under the supervision of Dr. Jackie Gardener Nix. Passionate about self-growth and personal development, Louisa uses her natural teaching skills to inspire chronic pain patients to change their relationship with their pain, which ultimately allows them to live full, meaningful, inspired lives. In addition to the group mindfulness program, Louisa also offers private, one-on-one coaching for individuals looking to improve themselves in all areas of their lives. For more information, visit louisamailis.com or follow her on instagram @louisa_mailis

This article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek medical advice from your physician or health provider for your specific needs.

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