BY Nicky Denegri

DATE: 31 MAR 2020


breathing & meditation

Times are tough. Most if not all of us are worried. We’re looking to the future, imagining the worst, catastrophising constantly. If that’s not you, that’s great. If that is you, then today we’re launching a series of blogs and podcasts (under our continuing “Proceed Until Apprehended” name). Why? We’re working hard to help ourselves and had a team training session focusing on resilience this morning, which also involved using the brilliant Zoom technology to connect us all. We also want to help you, help yourself, by passing on our own tried-and-tested practices – and maybe even hear from you in return. Interested?

First: breathing. When we’re stressed, we breathe more quickly and shallowly. We get more anxious more quickly. We don’t get enough oxygen to our neo-cortex, the top bit of our brain that helps us think logically, rationally and with cause-and-effect reasoning. If we get too anxious, we got into fight or flight response. Here’s a shortcut to restoring your factory settings, and calming down:

Sit or lie comfortably, arms by your side, legs uncrossed. Close your eyes and visualise a perfect square. You’re going to breathe around the square!

First, breathe in through your nose for a count of six.
Hold that breath for six.
Breathe out through your mouth for six.
Hold the exhale for six.

Do it six times and you’ll feel better – amazingly so. The beauty of this is you can do it anytime and anywhere, whether alone or with others.

Secondly - and you can continue with the breathing exercise, or breathe normally - add the meditation into it.

It’s simple. Close your eyes, get comfortable (again, if you’re not already) and say to yourself: let go. Let go. Let go. And keep repeating this for as long as you need to. You’ll feel yourself relax, physically and mentally.

The aim of these exercises is to help you focus on the moment you’re in – it’s all we have, in a sense – and in feeling better, being more able to focus on the future moments as you get to them.

We hope this helps. Next time you hear about me I’ll be telling you about our various team members’ good practices around physical and mental wellbeing.