It really was not that long ago when, if someone said said to me, 'Relax and breathe' it would trigger quite the opposite reaction. I'd feel my shoulders hunching and my fists clenching. I even punched something once (a cushion, don't worry, nothing living) because it made me feel so ANGRY. I couldn't stand that soothing sickly voice telling me to calm the heck down.
Oh how things change!
I thought it might be helpful as we head into lockdown #2 to share the very simplest of techniques to quieten down the mind.
Often when we are anxious or worried or in a state of high anxiety someone might say: take big deep breaths.
Well it all depends on how you interpret deep as to how effective it might be. Deep shallow breathing is probably going to make you feel worse. It's possible you might even pass out if you do it for long enough.
The type of breathing you really want to be practising is that deep, to the core of your being breathing so that when you take an inhale your stomach is expanding with the air intake.
And when you exhale your stomach contracts and you bring your navel to your spine pushing the air up and out. A bit like bellows.
Sounds a bit wafty? A bit Zen? A bit navel gazing for you?
Well it does actually work!
For those of you who know me well I don't really do wafty or woo woo.
I do practical.
Try this. I call it square breathing.
Can't sleep? Try this. Focus on breathing
s l o w s