The three minute breathing space is a short mindfulness meditation practice from the core Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme co-developed by Professor Mark Williams of Oxford University and Zindel Segal and was partially based on the mindfulness-based stress reduction program, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
It is a a mini-meditation that can put you back in control of your situation when you feel your stress levels starting to rise. Key to being able to effectively use the practice is regular practice when you are calm and relaxed. The practice can be built up to become a known internal tool so that when you need it in times of stress it can be used from a place of knowledge.
First minute: Becoming aware
Sit or stand, if possible close your eyes. Focus on your inner self and feel how you are feeling. Scan the body to pick up any sensations, acknowledging the sensations, but, not trying to change them in any way.
Second minute: Just breathe
Focus on the physical sensations of the breath, move in close to the physical sensations of the breath in the abdomen . . . expanding as the breath comes in . . . and falling back as the breath goes out.
Third minute: Expanding attention
Now, expand the field of awareness around the breathing so that it includes a sense of the body as a whole, your posture and facial expression, as if the whole body was breathing.
Find further info and a guided video: Three Minute Breathing Space Practice
Please note: Some people find that concentrating on their breath actually provokes panic and hyperventilation. If this happens to you, it may be worth speaking to your GP and looking for another way to relax that suits you.