Is it just a breath away?
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
Have you ever been told to 'just breathe?'. This may sound like an unhelpful sentiment, a bit of placation but there really is something in this.
Our bodily responses happen without us consciously being aware of them and many of the physiological reactions that occur are beyond our control... apart from one... breathing.
By controlling our breathing , we can trick our bodies and our brains into switching on the parasympathetic system, which in turn, relaxes the rest of the body.
So if you've had a day that has left you feeling overwhelmed, find somewhere comfortable and try this exercise to speed up you return to calm.
THE 7/11 TECHNIQUE
- Find yourself somewhere comfortable to sit.
- Try to have the soles of your feet flat to the floor.
- Relax your hands into your lap.
- Now slowly, counting to 7, take a deep breath in, filling all your lungs.
- Exhale slowly, releasing all of that air to the count of 11.
- As you breathe, use the time to mentally scan your body and notice what you are feeling and where you are feeling it.
- This time as you exhale to the count of 11, visualise that tension slowly, steadily leaving your body through your breath.
- Once again, as you breathe, use the time to mentally scan your body and notice what you are feeling now and where you are feeling it. Do you feel different?
- Continue with the 7/11 breathing until you notice your body returning to a calm state.
To extend this further, click here and try using it in conjunction with Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
Breathing and meditation activities can even be squeezed into small gaps in your day. Why not make them even easier to access by downloading the following apps on to your mobile?: