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Learn how to 'catch your breath' and calm your nervous system | video

Updated: Jan 21

We're not going to lie to you, learning to take deeper more regular breaths is not going to make the pandemic end any faster, but it will make it (and the other stresses and strains in your life) more bearable. Studies have repeatedly found that focussing on our breathing can reduce stress levels in a matter of minutes, so it stands to reason that spending a few minutes each day practising some simple mindful breathing will pay dividends at this particularly stressful time.

If you are feeling stressed right now, scroll down for our guided breathing video

Here's just 3 reasons why mindful breathing works:

1 Mindful breathing can quiet that busy mind

Our brilliant minds can be a noisy places, we don't know about you but the second we sit down to relax, any number of irritating must-do list items invade our brains. This is where videos can prove really useful, because you can focus on the screen and what's going on there which will drown out some of the less persistent requests your mind is jostling with.

2. You can do this anywhere

The great news is that once you have have learned your helpful breathing technique, you can pretty much practise it anywhere. In bed, sitting on the floor or on a rainy day walking the dog... you could even do it queueing outside the supermarket.

3. Practice makes perfect (or near enough)

Don't get disheartened by invading thoughts from your busy mind - this is totally normal! The best tip to deal with this is to not get impatient with yourself, but just go back to the breath and what you should be doing there. Practising really helps and after a few days you will find it's almost second nature. If you are home-schooling, maybe there is a ten minute window where your children are immersed in a lesson. Or put on one of the education programmes that the BBC are currently running. Anything that gives you a little headspace.

"Breathing affects your respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, muscular, and psychic systems, and also has a general effect on your sleep, memory, ability to concentrate, and your energy levels".

– Donna Farhi

To start you off, we're delighted to have Louise Rogers back with one very simple breathing technique to slow the breath down, calming the nervous system and steadying the mind. This practice attunes your awareness to the breath, whilst encouraging you to breathe more deeply. When you feel steady and balanced, anxiety and fear diminishes.

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