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EXERCISE: Calming the threat system: Colored Breathing

Another technique for slowing your breathing and calming your mind is to use imagery while you breathe. Some people find it helpful to imagine breathing colored air. You can memorize these instructions, you could ask someone to read then slowly for you, or you could record yourself speaking them and then listen to the recording.

  1. Imagine a color representing tension, or tense feelings

  2. As you breathe, calmly and steadily, imagine breathing out air tinged with that tense color

  3. See the colored air in your mind’s eye, and watch as you breathe it out and it floats away

  4. Allow the tense colored air to become paler and paler, as you breathe out all of the tension

  5. Now bring to mind a color representing calming, soothing feelings

  6. Imagine breathing in this relaxed colored air

  7. Just notice what happens in your body as you imagine breathing in the relaxed air

  8. Continue breathing this way for a few minutes