If you're a parent (or spend any time with 'worked up' people), you've probably said the words 'take a deep breath' to your child in an attempt to calm them down when they're upset.
It turns out that it's actually a pretty good thing to say.
A 2021 study shows that taking a few deep breaths can significantly reduce a child's physiological arousal. In the study, children were shown this short video that led them through a simple breathing exercise - the impact was measurable.
This week's prompt is simple - to breathe
Sounds crazy - but as with almost every prompt in this year of prompts, it's something that becomes all the more powerful when we're intentional about it.
So take some time out this week to be still and to inhale and exhale.
How I Breathe
As someone who lives with anxiety, I know the power of breathing.
I was taught a controlled breathing technique several years ago that I use on almost a daily basis as a way to reset my thinking and calm my mind when it starts spiralling.
I use it every night before bed and whenever I feel anxious. It takes my mind away from the worries and uncertainties that sometimes plague me and reminds me to be present - to focus on something simple that I do have control over.
The technique I use is about developing a steady pattern of breathing:
- in for four counts
- hold for five counts
- out for six counts
I find doing this for a few minutes can have tangible effects.
This is just one of many techniques that can be worth a try (here are 10 more).
Whether you use a breathing technique or do some old-fashioned breathing - I hope that you find spending a little quiet time focusing on your breathing to be beneficial this week.
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