The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - New Year, New You -

Dr Barry is a fan of mind­ful­ness, which can help re­shape our brain path­ways, and he rec­om­mends the three-minute breath­ing space, a mind­ful­ness tech­nique that can stem anx­ious feel­ings.

He de­scribes how to do it in this ex­tract from the book: “One won­der­ful mind­ful­ness ex­er­cise of great value in anx­i­ety is the three-minute breath­ing space. It can be done at any time of the day, par­tic­u­larly when we are un­der a lot of stress. It in­volves find­ing a quiet space to waste three min­utes of our valu­able time. Here’s how it works. Find­ing a com­fort­able pos­ture, close your eyes and en­gage with the fol­low­ing:

Minute one:

Fo­cus your mind on in­ner ex­pe­ri­ences, such as your thoughts, emo­tions and phys­i­cal sen­sa­tions. Do not try to change or chal­lenge them. Just be­come aware of them.

Minute two:

Fo­cus on the sim­ple phys­i­cal sen­sa­tion of breath­ing and par­tic­u­larly on your ab­domen ris­ing and fall­ing with each breath again. Do not try to con­trol it. This helps us to cen­tre our­selves. This part is crit­i­cal for anx­i­ety.

Minute three:

In­crease your fo­cus or aware­ness on your body as a whole, in­clud­ing your pos­ture, fa­cial ex­pres­sion and sen­sa­tions. Ac­cept it all com­pletely and with­out judg­ment.

If per­formed two or three times a day, the ben­e­fits are enor­mous.”

Ex­tract from Flag­ging Anx­i­ety and Panic: How to Re­shape Your Anx­ious Mind and Brain by Dr Harry Barry, pub­lished by Lib­er­ties Press.

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