Stop Stress & Anxiety in its Tracks


Depending on what you're experiencing and what time of day it is, your meditation practice may change. Rhythmic counting is an excellent tool to add to your meditation tool belt. The practice of rhythmic counting gives your mind something tangible to concentrate on rather than just the subtleness of the breath. This is very helpful during times of stress and anxiety. So if you're experiencing racing thoughts, rumination, mental tension, or nervousness, I urge you to try it. When in doubt, remember 4, 4, 8. Inhale for four, pause for four, and exhale for an 8 count. By elongating the exhale you are activating the parasympathetic nervous system which helps counteract the fight-or-flight response in your body. So are you ready? Let's try it out.


Rhythmic Counting to Calm the Mind:

Find a comfortable seat, spine tall

Softly close the eyes and turn your attention inward

First notice the quality of the breath

Notice how the in-breath turns into the out-breath, and the out-breath turns into an in-breath

On your next inhale, breathe deep down into the belly for 2, 3, 4

Pause 2, 3, 4

Exhale 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Inhale 2, 3, 4

Pause, 2, 3, 4

Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Inhale 2, 3, 4

Pause, 2, 3, 4

Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Repeat three more times, just like that.


The next time you're feeling #stressed, or #anxious try rhythmic counting to regulate the nervous system. Try it with a friend or loved one to co-regulate during hard times. Like or comment below if you found this helpful.

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© 2020 by Kristin Damstetter

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