When I start working with a new client, I start at the beginning - supporting your wellbeing through cultivating a calm mind. When you have a clam mind you can think clearly; you can then begin to access your real truth, desires and challenges.
The process of developing and maintaining your personal wellbeing first begins with learning how to calm your mind — and by doing so learning to reduce stress and anxiety.
This in turn begins with learning how to breathe more slowly, efficiently, mindfully and deeply — ‘diaphragmatically’ — using your full diaphragm to inhale and exhale.
We all breathe unconsciously without thinking, but given the huge demands life makes on our mind and body each day, many of us do so in an entirely inefficient and often counter-productive way.
Simply taking a little time each day to focus on adjusting your technique toward slower, mindful — and ultimately deep/diaphragmatic — breathing can provide significant positive health benefits:
Improved mental state and functioning along with a more relaxed mind and an enhanced ability to learn, concentrate and memorise
Increased energy via increased oxygen in the body — the most essential resource for human life
Improved cardiovascular system performance & increased circulation to all major organs
Elevated digestive system efficiency & overall improved digestion
Consistently calmer central nervous system operation, via increased activation of the parasympathetic nervous system that brings the body into a relaxed state by moderating our sympathetic nervous system’s actions & effects (fight-or-flight response activation)
By using the simple breathing exercise below, you can begin to work each day toward experiencing a calmer mind via slower and deeper diaphragmatic breathing:
In a quiet, relaxed environment where you can remain undisturbed for 5-10 minutes:
Seat yourself comfortably
Begin to breathe slowly and gently in and out through your nose (or through your mouth if nose breathing is not possible)
Note the movement of your stomach & chest for a few moments
Relax your body with each slow and gentle breath out
Close your eyes (if possible) & continue to breathe gently in and out through your nose
Putting your hand on your lower stomach can help to redirect your breath downwards encouraging a fuller breath
Concentrate on continuing to breathe gently in and out through your nose, and,
Enjoy the relaxed bodily sensation that slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing creates*
*Please note: concentrating on shifting one’s breathing may in some cases cause hyperventilation, distress, and possibly panic for some. If this happens please stop what you are doing immediately and seek professional advice. Please do not attempt to push through your symptoms.
This deep, slow diaphragmatic breathing exercise can be repeated several times each day. Regularly use of diaphragmatic breathing techniques for a few minutes several times a day is an excellent and proven strategy for calming your mind and allowing you to return to your day’s activities positively refreshed.