Soothing Breathing Rhythm 3 - Script

Take a look at a short script for guiding a key exercise in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), often known as Soothing Rhythm Breathing, and how we can deepen this practice by using inner speech and a warm caring voice tone.

You can access this as a PDF download hereYou can also find access to some of the audio practices here, and guided compassion self-help courses here.

Soothing Rhythm Breathing - 3

Inner Speech and Voice Tone

“Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit. If you feel comfortable, close your eyes. If not, rest your gaze directly ahead of yourself, with your head in an alert, upright position

Begin by bringing your attention to your breathing in a mindful way. Notice the sensations present as you breathe in and out. If you notice that your attention becomes distracted, and moves away from your breath, just observe this and gently try to bring your attention back to your breath, without judging or criticising yourself that this has happened.

Now, as you’re gently holding your attention in the flow of your breath, gently try and bring a soothing or calming breathing rhythm to your body. This is likely to be a slower and deeper rhythm that usual, but one that feels comfortable and natural to your body. Try if you can to breathe in a smooth, even way. If you notice your attention moving away from your breath, or that you become distracted in any way, gently bring your attention back to your breath and tune back in to the calming or soothing quality of your breathing rhythm.  

Now, see if you can slow your breathing down a little further. Sometimes it can be worth counting your breath to start with, starting off a little quicker, and then slowing down to the count of 5. 

If you can, at the top of the in breath take a pause before breathing out, and again at the bottom of the out breath before breathing in. Let’s give this a try

 Out      2 – 3 

Hold    1

In         2 -3 

Hold    1

Out      2 – 3 

Hold    1

In         2 – 3 

Hold    1

Out      2 – 3 – 4 

Hold    1

In         2 – 3 –  4 

Hold    1

Out      2 – 3 – 4 

Hold    1

In         2 – 3 – 4 

Hold    1

Out      2 – 3 – 4 

Hold    1

In         1  –  2  –  3  –  4  –  5

Hold    1

Out      1  –  2  –  3  –  4  –  5

Hold    1

In         1  –  2  –  3  –  4  –  5

Continue – roughly in this rhythm – for another two or three minutes, staying connected with your soothing breathing rhythm

When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and bring yourself back in to the room. “

These exercises and practices have all been adapted from the wonderful work of Paul Gilbert – find out more at www.compassiontemind.co.uk