Pay enough attention to the present moment that your breath goes subconscious
I used to think that you pay attention to the breath to control it into being calm.
Now I think that the trick is to pay so much attention to the breath that there is no room left in your mind to consciously control the breath.
It is already all taken up by your deep attention to the present moment.
This causes your breath to transition into becoming a subconscious process, and naturally makes it smooth and calming.
My anxiety is closely related to the smoothness of my breath.
When I am anxious, my breathing always becomes irregular in some way.
I notice it when an awkward moment arises in social settings.
I’m sure you’ve noticed it as well.
All of a sudden my breath is more on the forefront of my awareness.
Shallow, jagged, not smooth, not relaxed.
It’s not only a result of anxiety, but also a cause.
It’s a two way street, the old breathing anxiety interaction.
So I asked myself, what do I feel like when my breathing is relaxed?
I feel like my brain is preoccupied with other things and cannot dedicate attention to the breath.
So maybe I should just ignore my breath?
Sort of, but if we don’t fill the space of our attention with something else then we mostly just end up holding it…
You need to give your brain enough to do that it designates your breathing to become a background process.
But how can I give my brain more input if I’m still in the same exact environment? You ask.
Mindfulness. Paying closer attention to the present moment.
Being on the ball. Reacting to things organically as they arise.
There is so much to draw on for inspiration between everything that’s happening externally and internally.
You don’t need any special activities or mind altering substances to reach this threshold.
Be conscious and be in the moment.
You need to give your brain enough to be conscious about that it chooses to designate breathing to the subconscious.
Why in the moment?
Everything outside of the moment is an abstraction of reality, and inherently doesn’t have as much depth as your present moment reality.
It is not multidimensional, because it is happening in your mind in the form of an idea.
Present moment experiences are happening in your body, your mind, between you and others, between you and your environment.
Between you and different versions of yourself.
You need that depth to draw on in order to have your conscious brain get to the point that it designates your breath to the subconscious.
It feels good to be that immersed.
And although its not always easy, it makes the anxiety disappear.