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Focusing The Mind

Take Five Breathing Practice

Focusing The Mind

Take Five Breathing Practice

Learning Outcomes


Materials Needed


Time it Takes

5 minutes


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Did You Know?

Coming back to the breath is one of the easiest ways to pause, reconnect our awareness to the present moment and reduce reactivity.


A short breathing activity that can be done anywhere, by anyone, at any time of day. The ideal tool when you find yourself needing a time out, some insight or just want a brain-break.


Being over-stimulated, too busy or completely stressed out can hinder one’s ability to be fully self-aware. Breathing mindfully and focusing on the natural flow of the breath offers a new way of relating to moment-to-moment experiences.


  • Lead the Take Five breathing practice by playing the recording or reading the instructions below.
  • Once the activity has concluded, give the participant(s) a moment to reflect on how they feel.
  • After a brief pause, engage the participant(s) in a dialogue, using the conversation starters as a jumping off point.

Take Five Practice Instructions

  • Sit in a comfortable position and allow both soles of the feet to connect to the floor.
  • The intention of TAKE FIVE is to breathe in and breathe out, noticing the whole length of the breath for five times.
  • Turn one hand palm up to the ceiling. This will be your counting hand.
  • At the end of each breath cycle, which is one inhale and one exhale, you will fold one finger into the palm of your hand until all five fingers are folded.
  • When you have completed five breath cycles, slowly bring your attention back to your surroundings and notice how you feel.

Conversation Starters

  • Describe your experience of TAKE FIVE with one word or image.
  • Name a situation in which the TAKE FIVE breathing practice would be a useful skill.

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