The purpose of this exercise is to simply notice, accept and be aware of your breath – it is not about relaxation or stress reduction, although this may well occur. Breathing is something we all do – if you have a pulse then you breathe. Your body knows how to do this; it has done it since birth. This is simply about breathing mindfully. Breathing is something you carry with you everywhere; you are just not usually aware of it.

Breathing mindfulness mp3


Sit quietly in a chair with both feet on the ground and your hands in your lap. Allow yourself to feel centred in the chair. Bring all of your attention to the physical act of breathing. Start to notice the breath as it enters your body through your nose and travels to your lungs. Notice with curiosity whether the inward and outward breaths are cool or warm, and notice where the breath travels as it enters and departs.

Also notice the breath as your lungs relax and you inhale through your nose. Don’t try to do anything with your breathing – simply notice it, pay attention to it and be aware of it. It doesn’t matter if your breathing is slow or fast, deep or shallow; it just is what it is. Allow your body to do what it does naturally.

You will start to notice that each time you breathe in, your diaphragm or stomach will expand… and each time you breathe out your diaphragm or stomach will relax. Again, don’t try to do anything – just be aware of the physical sensations of breathing in and breathing out. If you find that thoughts intrude, this is okay. Don’t worry, just notice the thoughts, allow them to be, and gently bring your awareness back to your breath.

Start this exercise initially for 5 minutes, building up daily. You can also do this exercise lying down in bed if you have difficulty sleeping. It is simply a way of allowing you to have more mindful and conscious awareness of your body and its surroundings, its breathing and its capacity to relax. When our breathing relaxes our muscles relax.

Please feel free to download the MP3 for your own personal use.

Exercise 5: Breathing mindfulness


Other mindfulness exercises


Get the mobile version

The mindfulness exercises are one of the features available in the free Living Well App for iPhone and Android. Be mindful anywhere, anytime.



  1. Comment by Anonymous

    Anonymous Reply June 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Would you please send me the audio files of exercises. I can not download them

    So many thanks

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply June 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      So pleased that you find the exercises useful! To download them try clicking on the link to the mp3 file and then selecting *Save target as.* The exact wording may differ depending on your browser.

  2. Comment by Dave

    Dave Reply June 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Mindfulness is a fab way to relax, it takes a while to focus into it, my way of starting mindfulness is eating an apple. I pick it up feel it touch it, smell it rub it over my lips to get tough of apple skin on my lips. I then eat and focus on texture taste way it feels in my mouth and taste as I swallow it. The breathing exercise takes time to master I normally lose it when I think off something as it passes my knee to my toes. Then breathing and think of breathing from, mouth down your body to toes, down left leg past your knee to toes, up to your mouth and down the right leg. Its hard when picking up background noise etc, but you have to focus on breathing, I normally lie in bed in a room just relaxing it does work I have been usingm the guy that helped me is http://drrayowen.co.uk/ pretty amazing guy

  3. Comment by cecilia

    cecilia Reply July 3, 2016 at 1:09 am

    No puedo descargar el ejercicio en español. Se descarga en inglés.

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply July 4, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Sorry Cecilia, we do not have translations of these exercises as yet. They are only available in English.
      Thanks for your feedback.

  4. Comment by Chantal

    Chantal Reply June 8, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    What do you find this exercise useful for in particular please? I am a psychologist and would like to explain what it helps with to my clients.

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