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  • Writer's pictureLauren L. Murphy

Thin Space No. 6: Anxiety and Breath

The Question

How does your breath change when you are anxious?


The Intention



The Meditative Moment

Lay down on the floor, the couch, or your bed. Place both hands on your belly. As you inhale, notice your belly lift. As you exhale, it lowers. Put on a favorite song or rest in silence here for a few minutes. Belly breathing moves us from fight-or-flight mode to rest-and-digest mode. It kicks on the parasympathetic nervous system, the one that tells us we are safe and not threatened. Very often, we tend to breathe from our chest, but allowing the breath to get all the way down to the belly reminds us that we do not have to remain on high alert all the time. It isn’t always easy to breathe into the belly when sitting or standing; laying down automatically creates space for this belly breath.

Burren, Ireland

Originally sent August 6, 2023, to paid Substack subscribers. If you want to receive current Thin Space reflections, you can start a paid subscription here: You can choose to pay $75/year or $8/month.

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