Today on Break it Down, we explore deep breathing with Chartered Counselling Psychologist Dr Tamara Vaughan of Mind Health Psychology;
The idea around deep breathing exercises is that they help to activate the ‘parasympathetic nervous system’ – this is also known as the ‘rest and digest system’ (i.e. the opposite of the fight or flight) and helps to activate a sense of calm and relaxation within our body. There are a couple of exercises that are helpful:
a. Breathe in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4
b. Breathe in for 4 out for 6
Breaths out should be low and long like you’re breathing out through a straw.
I often recommend to people that they practice deep breathing for 1-2 minutes every day. When you are new to this practice, it may be best to practice and at a time when you’re feeling relatively calm rather than practicing for the first time when you’re feeling very anxious (i.e. you wouldn’t want to learn to swim in the middle of a storm).
• This may cause you to feel a little light headed initially so practice while sitting down.
• If you have any heart or respiratory conditions, you may need to seek medical advice from your doctor first if you’re unsure whether this is appropriate for you.
Listen to the audio guide at starcomnetwork.net
Disclaimer: The information provided is advisory but should not replace any further specialist mental health or medical input, should you need this.