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Space for breathing
Welcome to...

Space for breathing

Space for being

relaxed, energised and peaceful

I sincerely hope you enjoy exploring this site and allow yourself to take your time to relax and choose anything that offers you the space to breathe and be yourself.

Have fun experimenting with the practices offered here and discover what helps you.

Breathe well

 

Pause, take a moment and breathe

Just as you are in this moment, be aware that you are breathing. Notice that the breath enters the body through the nose and settles in the chest or abdomen. Slowly release the breath. Pause, and then return to your normal breathing.

Pause, breathe and smile

Take a moment, just as you are. Gently close your eyes, or gaze softly at something attractive. Allow your mouth to form a small smile, and breathe as the smile creeps up to your eyes and forehead. Then relax and continue your day.

Pause, breathe and stretch

Take a moment to stand, hands by your side. Notice your feet on the ground… and take a breath.  Slowly raise the arms out to the side. Breathe and lift the arms above the head. Breathe and feel the gentle stretch. Then slowly lower the arms. Stand and breathe.

Pause, breathe and relax

Whenever feelings become overwhelming, breathing in and out through the nose helps to soothe the brain.

These 3 steps help me:

1. Pause. Notice “I am feeling…”  

2. Breathe through the nose and focus on the breath, or an alternative thought, soothing word, or picture.

3. Smile, breathe, and accept that “I am…”. 

Breathe, Notice, Choose

A simple recipe to help when the mind gets stuck in a negative zone that you’d prefer not to be in:

  1. Breathe through the nose for a few breaths
  2. Notice – “I am… [feeling/thinking/doing]
  3. Choose – I can… feel, think, do something different

Neuroscience

Our brains are cleverly designed to respond to our environment and inner judgements. The autonomic nervous system works without us needing to be aware of what it is doing at any given moment. For example, when a threat is perceived we normally prepare to either fight, flee or ‘freeze’ [stay still] and the way we breathe is automatically adjusted so that our bodies can work with the message the brain has sent out. We need a lot of breath to be ready to run, or we need to hold the breath in order to stay still.

Mindful breathing means noticing the breath, then inhaling gently and exhaling slowly until the breathing pattern becomes regular again. There’s a bit more about neuroscience below… 

Compassion

The impact of self kindness and compassion on the brain is wonderful!

As soon as we respond to ourselves with kindness and understanding, our nervous system usually relaxes and our brain is able to make positive connections.

If we receive criticism and hostility our brain generally protects us by telling us to close up and self-isolate, or respond by attacking the threat.

Breathing helps us to show compassion to ourselves when it’s needed. Instead of allowing the brain to operate on its automatic pilot, if we take a breath we can connect to our thinking mind and self-care. This can help us to rest, exercise, care for others, and even pray when we need to.

Breathing

Breathing well is like feeding the brain healthily.

When we are anxious we naturally prepare to fight, flee or ‘freeze’ [stay still] by holding the breath. This can be helpful if the threat is real or imminent, but if for example a past memory or unconscious fear triggers anxiety, or it’s just an old habit, then holding the breath will mean that the mind can struggle to make connections, preventing wise choices from being made.

When we practice Mindfulness we can breathe slowly, pause and notice how we are, and then choose how we continue.

Life begins with breathing!

a little about..

neuroscience and mindfulness

New developments in neuroscience about the plasticity of the brain have encouraged an interest in the effects of Mindfulness practice. It is now a recommended treatment in the NHS for anxiety and depression. It is recognised that Mindfulness practice encourages mental clarity, focus and creativity.

Mindfulness is not a specifically spiritual or religious practice, although meditation exists in all religious traditions in different forms. Mindfulness meditation is about stilling the mind by focusing on the breath, so that we can become aware of our present experience, in a compassionate way.

This practice means that we can begin to recognise old patterns of thought or behaviour, notice whether they are self-limiting or valuable, and offers us the space to experience our world in fresh ways. It really is like taking in a breath of fresh air whilst standing by the sea!

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