Controlled breathing is a wonderful tool for reducing stress.
Breathing is something we can’t help doing and we hardly ever give it a thought. Yet this natural, automatic activity of the living body can be actively directed for your benefit.
The 7-11 Breathing Technique
- Breathe in for the count of 7
- Breathe out for the count of 11
Repeat for as long as necessary. The pace is a matter of personal comfort – it is a good idea to take it as gently as possible.
By breathing out for a longer period than breathing in, you are mimicking what you do when you are yawning and getting ready for sleep. This behavior automatically induces relaxation and brings a feeling of calm while reducing emotional arousal.
At the same time, you are counting, which takes concentration. This takes your mind off whatever you were thinking about before the exercise.
This simple exercise is a very helpful approach to use if you…
- Experience a panic attack
- Feel you are getting stressed
- Become angry and can’t think clearly
- Get a sudden disorienting shock
- Find that you are worrying over something