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Self Help

Please find below some free useful self-help techniques

7/11 Breathing Technique

7/11 breathing is a great technique that allows you to relax at any time.

Our breathing is the first to change when we feel slightly uneasy. Controlled breathing can be very important to our physical and mental well-being (you may know that correct breathing is taught in yoga, meditation, martial arts etc). The 7/11 technique can help you to relax in times of stress or anxiety whether before, during or after a particular event or in general. People won't even know you are using the technique!

The technique is simply to breath in for the count of 7 and out for the count of 11.  The body has to relax when you have a longer out breath (people naturally sigh when they are stressed because the extended out breath calms them down).

Count at the same rate for the in breathing as the out breathing but find a rate which is comfortable for your lungs. You may find you have to breath in slightly “harder” and out “more gently”.  Keep the rate constant without getting out of breath.  The most important part of the technique is to ensure the out breath is longer than the in breath.  If a count of 7 and 11 is too much then try a count of 5 and 9.

The more you use this technique the more you will notice the benefits and the technique will become easier.


Body Scan Technique

The body scan is a simple, yet powerful relaxation technique involving the focus your attention on each part of your body in turn.

Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your eyes shut. Take your time with this technique - nice and slowly.

Start by paying attention to your feet and the sensations of the feet.
On a big in-breath and a count of 1, allow the feelings of relaxation up to your knees.
On another in-breath and a count of 2, let the feelings of relaxation float up to your waist.
On a count of 3 pull the feelings of relaxation up to your shoulders.
On a count of 4 up to your head.
Pause for a moment and notice the pleasant feelings of relaxation and the sensations over the whole of your body.
On a big out-breath and a count of 5 double the feelings down from your head to your shoulders.
On a count of 6 double the feelings down to your waist.
On a count of 7 double the feelings down to your knees.
On a count of 8 double it down to your feet.
Allow yourself to imagine that all the tension in your body is leaving through the soles of your feet.

Perhaps you can then imagine yourself in a calming and relaxing place. Maybe somewhere you have been or maybe somewhere you would like to go. Notice all your senses whilst in this relaxing place. What can you see in this place? What can you hear in this place? What are the textures in this place that you can touch?

Like with learning any new skill, the more you do it, the better it gets and you will begin to notice more benefits.


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