‘LITTLE THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO’ NO.5 – daydream & 7/11 breathing

no 5.jpgHave a daydream. That may seem weird as usually it’s thought to be a waste of time, but there can be controlled daydreams. You can let your mind wander to think about what you hope for the future, and what you’d like to achieve. Once you’ve decided what you want to accomplish, define it. This involves things like how you will feel when you’re there, who you’ll be with and how it will have benefitted you. When ‘daydreaming’ think about the realms-of-possibility (excuse the cheesiness) and plan how you will achieve your goals. This is also known as ‘visioneering’.

On the other hand, you can just look out of the window or shut your eyes, and do the ‘usual’ daydreaming. It’s a good idea to give your mind time to switch off and quite a few times people have had good ideas when they’re not trying to think of anything! One of the strange ways the mind works… (Like when you’re trying to remember the name of something and then it comes to you at 2.38am in the middle of the night!)

7/11 breathing is a technique used to calm the body and mind. It can be used to prevent and reduce the effects of panic attacks, and also to relax you before an exam or to help you switch off to sleep. Take it steady, and breathe in steadily, counting to 7. To breathe using your diaphragm, place your hand on your tummy, and when you breathe in it should go out. When you get to 7, if you can, hold your breath a little (but not too long!) and slowly exhale. On breathing out, slowly and steadily again, count to 11, and your tummy should be going it. When you reach 11, hold a bit again. Then, continue, breathing in for 7 counts and out for 11 counts. At first you may feel a bit light-headed, and that’s fine as your breathing system is being changed! After practise, you’ll be able to count slower and hold longer at either end of breathing in or out. TRY IT FOR YOURSELF; trains can be cramped, you may have a scary job interview, or just get nervous meeting a group of people. Good breathing can help you feel more comfortable about many situations!

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