What To Do When You Can’t Focus on Breath During Meditation? (10 Helpful Ways)

Last modified date

For those seeking to lower stress and improve their mental health, meditation is beneficial. Here, the focus is essential, and you can benefit from some advice.

The good news is that meditation can help us maintain our focus and calm our minds. We have the ability to calm down and be still. Our thoughts are capable of being tuned to the highest octaves through channeling. But what to do when you can’t focus on breathing during meditation? Here are ten helpful ways.

10 Ways to Improve Focus During Meditation

Concentrate Without Physical Tension

In an effort to focus more intently during their meditation practice, many novice meditators tens their body muscles. However, only in a relaxed state is it possible to focus deeply.

Relax the Body

Starting with body relaxation will help you focus more during meditation. Inhaling while tensing your entire body, then letting the tension out as you exhale, is a very efficient way to relieve built-up bodily tension. In order to prepare for meditation, Yogananda advised tensing and relaxing in addition to using the Regular Breathing Technique.

Pray before You Meditate

This will assist you in keeping in mind your meditation goals! Additionally, you will be asking the Divine or your Higher Self to support you in your practice.

Sit Perfectly Still

Your muscles receive energy, or life force when you even slightly move your body. Any physical movement reduces your effort because it brings your energy and awareness into the body, which is the goal of yoga, which is to draw your energy inward. Try visualizing your body as a rock: stable and unmoving to help you focus while you’re in a state of meditation.

Sit Longer

The longer you sit in meditation, the less restless you’ll feel. If left to sit undisturbed, even a glass of murky water eventually becomes clear.

Keep Your Eyes Gently Raised

When we need to focus intensely, we naturally direct our attention to the spiritual eye, or the point between the eyebrows, which is the seat of concentration in the body. It is very beneficial to maintain raised eyes throughout the meditation. You’ll notice that your ability to focus will increase if you do.

Focus on the Breath

Watching the Breath: Extend your diaphragmatic breath into your lungs. As the air fills your lungs, pay close attention to the sensation. Feel the warm air entering your nostrils as you exhale and the cool air entering them as you inhale. Without trying to regulate it, let the breath naturally slow down and calm.

Another enjoyable breathing technique is measured breathing. Three steps make up measured breathing: inhale, hold, and exhale. Use a count that you can comfortably manage during each phase of this practice. For instance, breathe in for 6, hold for 6, and then exhale for 6. Whatever suits you the best should be the count adjustment.

Consciously Withdraw the Energy from the Body

By virtue of its capacity to interiorize and focus the mind, the Hong-Sau Meditation Technique is one of the most revered yoga practices.

Do One Thing at a Time, and Do It Well!

It can be challenging to stop thinking about something you really want! Whatever you do, if you put your full attention into it, you’ll soon find yourself engrossed in it.

Pray for Concentration and Devotion

Sincerity is the capacity of one’s entire being. In your meditation practice, ask for sincere effort.

What To Do When You Can't Focus on Breath During Meditation? (10 Helpful Ways)

Why Anxiety Affects Breath

When we feel anxious, whether it’s a momentary sense of anxiety or a formal diagnosis of anxiety, that feeling stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, also known as the “fight-or-flight” mode. When we are anxious, our cortisol levels rise, our hearts begin to beat more quickly, and our breathing becomes more rapid.

The inability to catch or slow one’s breath, or to increase one’s awareness of that breath, is a very common symptom of anxiety. This is because breathing is just one component of the fight-or-flight response.

It actually indicates that the body is functioning properly because fight-or-flight is a natural self-preservation mechanism. Our task is to identify what is triggering that stress response so that we can start to manage it.

How to Manage the Breath When Breathing Makes You Anxious

Numerous factors make meditation and mental slowing difficult. If you’re having trouble, this is my best advice. Don’t do it.

Given the potential benefits of sitting mindfulness meditation for the mind, it may come as a surprise, but there are many stress and anxiety-reduction techniques that may be more effective.

If concentrating on the breath makes you more anxious, try movement meditation. Anxious people find it easier to center themselves in their bodies by moving.

2 Practices to Try

Diaphragmatic Breathing

1. Put the belly with both hands.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to rise.
4. Lips pursed, breathe out through your mouth.

Thoracic breathing, or shallow, quick breaths through the chest, is what we do when we’re feeling anxious. By practicing diaphragmatic breathing, we can disengage our fight-or-flight response by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Heart-centered Breathing

1. Placing one hand on your belly and the other on your heart is a good idea.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Through your nose, inhale for four counts.
4. Inhale through your mouth for seven counts.

The only bodily function that can be controlled both voluntarily and unconsciously is breathing. This practice helps address the root of feelings or moments of anxiety because they feel so out of control.

Close Note

Although sitting mindfulness meditation is a wonderful tool for managing anxiety, it is only one of many. Try using grounding movement meditations as a substitute if the practice doesn’t feel comfortable to you. To feel more in control, if you are able, think about engaging in breathwork as well.

Arya Wang