Put one hand on your stomach and one on your chest – breath in and out slowly. Breath in through your nose, pause, and then out through your mouth. Let your stomach fill, then your ribcage and your lungs. Feel your hands rise and fall. When you feel still say ‘God is closer to me than my very breath.’
Clench your fist, then open out your hand stretching the fingers wide for the star hand breathing technique. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh79w9pn9Cg
As you breathe in and trace your finger up, think ‘You are with me on the mountaintop.
As you breathe out and trace your finger back down think, ‘You are with me in the valley.’
Do the exercise one more time, this time first visualising things that represent a mountaintop and a valley in your life right now. Then simply say, ‘You are with me’ as you breathe in and think of the good places where God is present in your life and then ‘You are with me’ as you breathe out and think of the difficult places where God is present in your life.
The Psychology of the activity: Note that this is written by a practitioner NOT a professional:
Breath: Slowing and noticing breathing slows heart-rate and cuts off the release of adrenalin and other stress hormones into the body
Touch: Distracts the anxious mind from its racing thoughts or worst case scenario thinking back into the moment. It also reconnects you to your body and your nerves respond to the gentle touch of your fingertip on your hand outline.
Action/slow movement: involves concentration. Helps your mind move from survival mode (fight-flight-freeze- flop) and brings the rational part of the brain back online.
Refocus: You are now back in the moment, back in your body, noticing how you feel and calming yourself down. Actively focusing your mind on God, his Presence and his Peace provide the foundation for your thoughts as you go about the rest of your day.