This past couple of years, I’ve stumbled into a lovely way to reflect, calm, and breathe. It’s something the leadership team at my church has encouraged and helped us practice. They’re called breath prayers. (Please note below: ways to use this practice without a religious bent.)
Each breath prayer is a moment of reflection, a time to consider two phrases that work as one to give yourself a message. On the inhale of your breath, breath the first phrase – a recognition of God and God’s power and presence. On the exhale, breathe out the second phrase – a release of emotion, concern, fear or acceptance of the truth of the first phrase.
A breath prayer might go something like, “Merciful and kind Savior, I know you are present in my hurt.” Or “Ever present God and giver of joy, I know you are here with me now.”
Even if you’re not into praying and don’t give a hoot about church or religion, this practice can be applied to anxious, stressful, or concerning times. Take a moment, find a phrase or mantra that helps you center and relax. You can use the same two phrases on repeat a few times (or throughout a prayer/meditation/clarity session) or use several different phrases.
The important thing is that the phrases or breath prayers help you refocus in a time of high emotion or anxiety.
Even if you’re not in a moment of crisis, a breath prayer/mantra practice can help reduce stress. So often, we are on a constant merry-go-round of busyness, stress, and just plain “doing” of things. These moments of quiet in the middle of the day can help reduce poor choices, overreactions in crises, general anxiety, fear, and stress.
I love this new practice and I hope it helps bring you peace and calm in the midst of chaos.
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.