EXERCISE: Calming the threat system: Swing Breathing

Swing breathing is another imagery technique for slowing your breathing and calming your mind. 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.

Allow your breathing to become slower … and more regular. Just focusing your attention on your breath … on the air flowing in … and out … of your mouth and nose.

Your breathing finding a steady rhythm. Breathing gently from low down in the belly. Taking slow steady breaths. Breathing in gently … and slowly and smoothly exhaling … Breathing in gently … and slowly and smoothly exhaling.

And as you continue to breathe slowly and gently … in a rhythm that’s comfortable to you … I’d like you to imagine … and then begin to feel … that you’re on a swing. Gently swinging backwards … and forwards … backwards … and forwards … finding that you’re swinging in rhythm with your breathing … just gently swinging … relaxed and peaceful. Pay attention to how it feels to swing gently forwards … and backwards … peaceful … relaxed … at ease. Just swinging gently … and smoothly … smoothly .. and gently.

And you can carry on breathing calmly and gently for as long as you like. Relaxing into this gentle rhythm more and more as time goes by.