wikiHow to Perform Soft Belly Meditation

Three Parts:Doing a Soft Belly MeditationLearning to Belly BreatheIncreasing Mindfulness While Meditating

When you get anxious or stressed, you may feel "knots" of tension forming in your stomach. Regular breathing is often shallow and centered in the chest, though this breathing pattern mimics how your body breathes when you're anxious or panicking.[1] Soft belly meditation channels your breath deep into your abdomen to make you feel more calm, peaceful, and relaxed while releasing the tension in your body.

Part 1
Doing a Soft Belly Meditation

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    Get into a comfortable, relaxed position. Before you perform any type of meditation, it's important to get into a comfortable position. Your muscles should be relaxed and you should be in a position that facilitates easy breathing patterns.[2]
    • Seated meditation is very common, but some people prefer to stand or lie down while meditating.
    • If you sit in a chair, be sure to put your feet flat on the floor. If you're sitting on the floor, position your legs however you're comfortable.[3]
    • If you lie on the floor, let your arms rest flat on the ground at your sides.
    • There is no right or wrong position to be in. As long as you are comfortable and capable of engaging in belly breathing, you can be in any position.
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    Close your eyes. Closing your eyes can help you focus on the meditation and tune out environmental distractions. However, not everyone is comfortable closing their eyes during meditation, especially if they're in an unfamiliar or potentially unsafe environment.[4]
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    Engage in belly breathing. Soft belly breathing requires you to inhale slowly, fill your abdominal area completely with that breath and then exhale slowly. As you inhale each breath, focus on expanding your belly and loosening any tension there.[5]
    • Try to fill your lungs from the bottom to the top, rather than engaging in shallow chest breathing.
    • Use the muscles in your abdomen to force the old breath out from your lower belly until your lungs are completely empty.
    • Repeat the process as many times as desired.
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    Focus on your breath. The key in any type of meditation is concentrating on your body's breathing patterns. This will help you remain focused in your meditation and engaged with your body. Concentrate on the physical sensations associated with breathing in and out as well as your body's response to each breath.[6]
    • Notice the sensation of air passing through your nostrils and feel your diaphragm rising and falling.
    • With each breath, try to locate any areas of tension in your body and release that tension with your each exhalation.
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    End the meditation when you're ready. The longer you meditate, the calmer you'll be. However, there is no prescribed duration for meditation. Even just one minute of spare time spent doing soft belly breathing can help relieve stress and ground your thoughts.[7]
    • Spend as little or as much time as you like on soft belly meditation.
    • If you want, you can set a timer for yourself so you'll know how long you've been meditating.

Part 2
Learning to Belly Breathe

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    Breathe in slowly through your nose. Once you're in a comfortable position, you'll want to focus on inhaling slowly and deeply. Many experts recommend inhaling through the nose, but you can inhale through your mouth if you're more comfortable breathing that way.[8]
    • Let your belly fill with air. It should rise and expand like an inflated balloon as you inhale.
    • Make sure the air goes down deep into your abdomen and eventually fills to your upper chest area, but don't concentrate your breathing in the chest. This will cause shallow chest breathing, which is not the goal of this meditation.
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    Put one hand on your abdomen and one on your chest. The goal of deep breathing in general, and soft belly meditation in particular, is to breathe with your diaphragm. That means that your chest should remain relatively level while your belly inflates and deflates.[9]
    • Putting hands on your body can help you gauge whether you're breathing properly.
    • The hand on your chest should remain stationary. The hand on your abdomen should rise and fall with each breath.
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    Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you exhale, you should feel your abdomen begin to fall. Try to use your diaphragm muscles to force air out of your body, rather than just using your lungs.[10]
    • If you're more comfortable breathing through your nose you can do so. However, exhaling through the mouth is typically recommended to establish a cycle of breath that travels in through one route and out through another.
    • Make sure that you exhale slowly and consciously. Remain focused on your breath at every stage of the meditation.
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    Maintain a regular belly breathing schedule. The best way to get more comfortable with this or any other new habit is by making it a part of your regular schedule. Practicing every day will help you get more comfortable with belly breathing and meditation in general. It will also help you relieve stress and feel more centered in your day-to-day life.[11]
    • If possible (and if you're comfortable doing so), try to set aside at least 10 to 20 minutes to practice every day. If that's too much, you can aim for 5 to 10 minutes of practice time each day.[12]
    • As you get more comfortable, try to increase the number of times you practice each day.
    • Aim for three to four meditation sessions each day, or however much time you can comfortably set aside.

Part 3
Increasing Mindfulness While Meditating

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    Identify and locate any tension or unpleasant feelings. Once you've gotten comfortable performing belly breathing, you may want to focus your efforts on relieving tension and discomfort in your body. With practice you'll be able to loosen your muscles during meditation, feeling less tense and more relaxed with every breath.[13]
    • Locating any sources of tension before meditating can help you focus on that area as you meditate.
    • With each breath, bring your awareness to that tense spot. Try to loosen those muscles, either through your breath alone or by tightening and releasing the muscles involved.
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    Try to consciously loosen your abdominal muscles. The goal of soft belly meditation is to get better at relieving tension focused in your abdomen. These muscles typically tense up when you're feeling stressed or anxious, and shallow chest breathing does very little to help relieve that tension.[14]
    • Focus on the way your abdominal muscles feel before, during, and after each breath.
    • Try to soften your belly with each breath. This entails letting go of any tension or tightness in your abdomen as you breathe in and out rhythmically.
    • If you're having trouble releasing tension as you breathe, try consciously tightening and releasing your muscles while you breathe. This technique is often called progressive muscle relaxation and can be done with every set of muscles in your body.[15]
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    Choose a mantra to center your thoughts. Many people use mantras during meditation. A mantra is simply a word or phrase that allows you to remain focused on the meditation and helps bring your mind back when your thoughts begin to wander.[16]
    • You can choose any centering word or phrase that you'd like.
    • If you're having trouble coming up with your own mantra, try using the phrase "soft belly." Say "soft" as you inhale slowly, then "belly" as you slowly exhale.[17]
    • Repeat your mantra any time your mind starts to wander or you get distracted by things in your environment.
    • As you repeat your mantra, return your focus back to your breathing.[18]


  • Try dimming the lights or closing the shades before you begin. Blocking out the light may help you relax and calm your mind, but you can meditate in whatever environment is most comfortable for you.

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