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Counselling Resources

Breathing Exercises

Many counsellors recommend breathing exercises to reduce stress and anxiety. the simple reason for this is that slow and regulated breathing calms and relaxes the central nervous system, relaxing the body and mind and sending a message to the brain that you are safe, if you are in a state of panic your body will be in flight, fight or freeze response and your brain will be activating its learned survival techniques. when we breath, sooth and calm our nervous system it affectively tells our body to stand down, and we can ease, sooth and slow or stop those emergency responses. 

7 - 4 - 11 breathing

Breath in slowly for the count of Seven

Hold that breath for the count of Four

Breath out slowly for the count of Eleven (or as long as you have breath for.

Square or box breathing

This is a simple breathing technique where you breath slowly with the slow drawing of a line either on paper or with your fingers in the air. breath in drawing a line across to the right, breath out line down  to the bottom, breath in drawing the line back to the left, breath out drawing the line back up and completing the square.      



Grounding Techniques

Another method of calming and soothing are grounding techniques. these are exercises to help distract you from anxious or stressful thoughts, feelings or images and help you focus on the present moment creating space between you and what might be overwhelming you. by focusing on the here and now you again send messages to your brain that there is no current danger, you are safe and it is safe to calm down.

5 - 4 - 3 -2 -1  (engaging the senses)

Name 5 things you can see

Name 4 things you can here

Name 3 things you can feel

Name 2 things you can smell

Name 1 thing you can taste

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