Friday 18 January 2019

The simple way to calm your mind - in minutes

Taking a moment out of your day to focus on your breathing is all it takes


Sabrina Barr

We’ve all come to a point during a particularly tough day when we feel as though we’ve reached our breaking point.

However, taking a moment out of your busy life to focus on your breath could be extremely beneficial for your mental health, both in the short and long term.

Using a simple breathing technique to soothe your mind is not only effective, but also very easy to learn.

The “coherent breathing” method was invented by Stephen Elliott, life scientist and author of The New Science of Breath.

Elliott has previously studied different forms of yoga taught in China, Kashmir and India, which inspired the development of coherent breathing.

Coherent breathing involves becoming more conscious of the way you inhale and exhale, breathing at an approximate frequency of five breaths per minute.

While this concept may not sound particularly groundbreaking, Elliott assures that doing so can have a hugely positive impact on your overall wellbeing.

“The bottom line is that when we do not breathe well, we do not feel well either physically or mentally,” Elliott told BMED Report.

“I expect that we’ll find that many of these advantages ultimately accrue from increased blood flow and perfusion to the brain.”

Patricia Gerbarg and Richard Brown, married psychiatrists from New York, utilise the coherent breathing method within their “Breath Body Mind” workshops to help provide their clients with a sense of solace.

“We wanted a short programme that could be quickly given to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Tonic.

The great thing about coherent breathing is that you can do it wherever you are, whether you’re sitting at your desk, on your morning commute or taking a walk in the park.

Breathing more deeply and at a slower pace has been proven to have a number of benefits, including decreasing your blood pressure and relax any tension in your body.

“Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress,” states The American Institute of Stress.

“Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.

“Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body - it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind."

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