Three Minute Breathing Space (3MBS)

The Three Minute Breathing is a very useful coping strategy. It helps us pausing intentionally to simply checking in with this moment. A moment that may feel unpleasant and challenging, or a moment that feels quite nice and pleasant. If the experience is more about struggle and difficulty the 3MBS offers us four different ways of dealing with it. It is recommended to practice this technique not only for coping, but also on a regular basis. It helps us checking in with whatever is showing up. There is an intention that helps to pause, to see more clearly and to investigate with curiosity. It can help calming the mind and body and helps us in proceeding in a much more calmer way. By seeing more clearly we can also choose a more skillful action to respond. The 3MBS also helps being more aware of and expanding on pleasant experiences. With the same openness and curiosity we are noticing moments that feel nice and that we might have missed if we wouldn’t stop with intention.

Step 1  Opening Awareness – checking in with thoughts, emotions and sensations. Simply noticing what is present in this very moment. This might be something pleasant, unpleasant or kind of neutral. Use three guiding questions: what are my thoughts; what are the emotions associated with the thoughts; and how does it feel in the body? Located sensation in the body.

Step 2 Grounding – shifting the focus of attention to the awareness of breathing. Noticing breathing sensations and movements in the body. Making space for the incoming breath, and letting go of the outgoing breath.

Step 3 Proceeding – expanding awareness to the entire body, environment, soundscape.

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