When the world around us is overwhelming, it can be helpful to take things just one moment at a time. This practice is just 3 minutes and 3 steps. It may help you cope with these challenging times of grief, confusion, and shock. These three steps can help to focus your attention in this moment, become aware of what you are experiencing, and be more informed to make decisions about what will support you. Practice along with Sona Dimidjian, Psychology and Neuroscience Professor and Crown Institute Director, and listen to the reflections of a student in how this tool has supported them.

Step 1: Awareness

Focus your attention on what is in your awareness right now. Perhaps asking yourself: What thoughts are present? What emotions are present? What physical sensations are here right now? Whatever you notice is OK.

Step 2: Gathering

Allow thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations fade into the background of your awareness. Gently redirect your attention on the feeling of breathing, focusing on the belly. You might find that your attention wanders, and when you do, gently return to the feeling of breathing at the belly. If it’s helpful, you can rest a hand on your belly to help focus. As best you can, gather your attention at the belly, following the breath all the way in and all the way out. There is nothing else you need to do at this moment.

Step 3: Expanding

Now, expand your awareness around the feelings of breathing at the belly. Expand your focus to include a sense of the body as a whole in this moment. As you complete this step, bring a more centered and expanded awareness to the next moments of your day.


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Student reflection on the 3-Minute Breathing Space practice