Breathing for Relaxation: Simple Techniques for a Calmer Mind and Body

Breathing is a simple and effective way to promote relaxation and calm the mind and body. By focusing on your breath, you can slow down your heart rate, reduce stress hormones, and promote feelings of relaxation and peace.

Here are some simple breathing techniques you can try:

  1. Deep breathing: This involves taking slow, deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body. To practice deep breathing, find a quiet place to sit or lie down, and close your eyes. Breathe in slowly through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for several minutes.
  2. Square breathing: This technique involves counting and regulating your breaths. To practice square breathing, inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold for four counts before starting again. This can help to slow down your breathing and promote feelings of relaxation.
  3. Alternate nostril breathing: This technique involves alternating between breathing in and out through each nostril. To practice alternate nostril breathing, close your right nostril with your right thumb and breathe in through your left nostril. Then close your left nostril with your right ring finger and release your thumb, breathing out through your right nostril. Repeat this pattern, breathing in and out through alternate nostrils, for several minutes.
  4. Belly breathing: This technique involves focusing on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your belly. To practice belly breathing, place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe in deeply, filling your belly with air and allowing your chest to rise slightly. Exhale slowly, feeling your belly fall as you release the air. Repeat this for several minutes.

In conclusion, breathing is a simple and effective way to promote relaxation and calm the mind and body. By taking a few minutes each day to practice breathing techniques, you can improve your overall well-being and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.

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Relaxation and Mental Health: How It Can Improve Your Mood and Well-Being

Relaxation is an important aspect of mental health and well-being, and it can have a positive impact on mood and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. When we relax, our bodies and minds are able to rest, rejuvenate, and heal.

Relaxation can come in many forms, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or a warm bath. It can help to calm the mind and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. For example, deep breathing exercises can help to slow down the heart rate and reduce the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, in the body. This can promote feelings of calm and relaxation.

Meditation, in particular, has been shown to have a significant impact on mental health. It can improve mood, increase feelings of well-being, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on the present moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment, has been found to be particularly effective for reducing stress and improving mental health.

Yoga and physical exercise can also be a form of relaxation, and they can help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, and to promote feelings of happiness and well-being.

In conclusion, relaxation is an important aspect of mental health and well-being, and it can have a positive impact on mood and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Whether through deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or physical exercise, finding time to relax and recharge can help to improve mental health and overall well-being.

5 Reasons to meditate and reduce your stress and anxiety.

By Soul Essence New Eltham

Clears your mind.

Meditation helps clear all the jumbled thoughts we constantly have in our heads, possibly causing overload and stress. By meditating, we can relax and focus on the guided meditation or feel and acknowledge our worries, painful memories, thoughts, and emotions and help them dissipate. You can also find the underlying cause of your anxiety.


Meditation helps you focus on your breathing; by slowing your breathing and using your belly to breathe, you start to relax. Once our bodies start to relax, we feel less stressed and anxious.

Helps you focus.

Firstly, most meditations focus on the breath or a person’s voice for part of the time. If your mind wanders or thoughts come, let them go and bring your focus back to the breath or voice each time. The more you do this the longer you are able to focus before thoughts enter your mind. The more regularly you meditate, the better your ability to focus will become. This will help you be more productive and less stressed.

Helps you sleep better.

Problems with sleep are often due to stress. Stress can cause tension, worry and anxiety, making it hard to fall asleep. By meditating before bed, you will feel more relaxed and calmer, making it easier to get to sleep and improving the quality of your sleep.

Being present in the now.

Living in the past can cause stress and anxiety. We need to remember the past cannot be changed; we can only learn from past experiences. The future has not happened, and we can only change the future by what we do NOW. Therefore, we often feel unhappy, stressed and anxious. We may not even realise it, however constantly living in the past and future can make you feel tired and out of touch with yourself. Meditation can help you stay present and focus on the present moment.

We have a course of meditations to help reduce stress and anxiety, starting Thursday 1st September 2022. The course will be fortnightly at 8 pm.  The cost is £45 for all six sessions or £10 on the night. To check dates click here

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Start using meditation today and improve your health now.

Meditation can help ease your pain, anxiety, stress and improve the health of your heart, boost your immune system and mood.

Conditions which are caused or worsened by stress and tension can be helped through meditation. By relaxing in meditation, you lower your blood pressure and improve your heart rate, (please note you must continue to take any medication until your doctor advises you can stop) slows your breathing and brain waves. When your muscles start to relax, they release the tension and tightness. The repetition in meditation is what helps us to relax. As we focus on our breath, letting go of our thoughts, and repeating a mantra, affirmation, or word we become present, and start the relaxation response.

Meditation is not difficult to learn, it is a skill which, you need to practice. After a few weeks of practice, you will be able to get to a relaxed state more quickly. If you relax several times a day, you may find you feel more relaxed during the whole day.

There have been many studies done showing meditation can lower cardiovascular risk, by relaxing and reducing your stress. Poorly managed stress is associated with a risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Meditation is an immune booster. Your immune system responds to both negative and positive thoughts, meditation will create a positive mental environment for the immune system to flourish. Meditation stimulates the immune system brain-function regions.

There have been studies where HIV patients slowed down the reduction of their CD-4 cell count, using meditation. The CD-4 cells are the immune cells which keep the virus from propagating.

Knowing if meditation is working. If your body is feeling relaxed, calm, and warm when meditating, you are probably going deep enough for the relaxation response.  If you are struggling to feel these, perhaps join a group to help you.

If you really do not get on with meditation any relaxing technique would be helpful.

If you would like to join a fortnightly group online email Rosemary

How Can the Mind and Body Benefit From Relaxation?

Practising relaxation techniques has many benefits.

Benefits to the body: –

  • Slowing your heart rate.
  • Slowing your breathing.
  • Reducing your blood pressure.
  • The blood flow to primary muscles is increased.
  • Greatly reducing chronic pain and muscle tension.
  • Major body systems, circulatory, immune, respiratory, and gastrointestinal will function better.
  • Many common health conditions improve when regularly practising relaxation, asthma, heartburn, PMT, some skin disorders are a few examples.

Benefits to our mental health: –

  • Calms your mind and brings you into the present
  • Able to sleep better.
  • Helps you control your emotions.
  • Helps you focus and increase your concentration.
  • Can improve anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
  • Reducing stress.

There are many ways to relax and improve our health.

  • Read a book.
  • Listen to calming music.
  • Have a relaxing bath.
  • Take a walk in nature.
  • Take up painting or drawing.
  • Many hobbies help us relax.
  • Tai Chi, Chi gong classes
  • Meditation and mindfulness

Although I personally love meditation I know it is not for everyone. The aim of relaxation is to enable our minds to be totally immersed in what we are doing. We are therefore in the present not worrying about the past or future.

Soul Essence runs a fortnightly online meditation group Tuesday evenings.

Do You Struggle To Relax, Have You Tried Meditation?

About Meditation

Being able to relax and be calm helps us to reduce our stress.  Meditation is not just about sitting crossed-legged on the floor and clearing our minds.

By taking some deep breaths we start to feel and become calmer. Lots of meditation techniques use the breath as a focus.

Lady RelaxingIn the Soul Essence meditation groups or one to one meditation, I go with what people are comfortable with, chairs and cushions are available. I will normally use my voice and guide people through the meditation

To relax with meditation you need to accept thoughts will come into your mind when you first start, when they do just bring your focus back to the voice or your breath. The more you do this the longer you will be able to clear your mind and start to relax.

Being able to relax and be calm will help you sleep, lower your blood pressure, and relax in general.

If you would like to try one of my meditation groups in New Eltham please contact me for availability, more information about meditation and the benefits can be found here or search my website for meditation.

Meditation – Getting Started

Candles, Orchid and Some White PebblesAny body can learn to meditate. All it takes is patience and perseverance. You don’t have to be religious or into any new age philosophy. When you decide to give it a go, you need to create the right conditions.

Your Meditation Space
It would be ideal to set aside a room which is kept for meditation only, so the spiritual energy you generate can build up and cleanse the room. However, this is the ideal and if you are unable to have the luxury of a separate meditation room choose a space perhaps in the corner of your bedroom, where you can sit and meditate without being disturbed. The area ideally will be simply furnished; all you need is an upright chair (not an armchair or comfy chair) and a table. Keep the space/room neat and tidy; open the window frequently to let fresh air circulate to cleanse it. Decorate with uplifting pictures, perhaps some crystals, candles, fresh flowers and some relaxing music in the background. This is your special place, your sanctuary.
Try to make time to meditate for 15 minutes morning or evening to start, increasing to 30 minutes or more when you become more experienced. The quality of the meditation is far more important than the quantity. Early morning is generally considered the best time for meditation, before you become absorbed in the business of the day. Choose a time which suits you and stick to it. Regular practise helps to condition and train the brain/mind. The more you meditate the easier it becomes.

The traditional posture is the lotus position, particularly in the East. However if we have not grown up doing yoga this can be uncomfortable and put you off meditation. Therefore, we can meditate just as well on a chair providing it is firm and upright. Your spine needs to be erect, your body should be relaxed and your feet firmly on the floor, hands resting lightly on your knees. The main rule for meditation is to be comfortable, this includes clothing. The purpose is to forget about the body so the mind can be free. The room should be dim and restful, not too dark that you doze off. The temperature should be warm but not stuffy and hot. Adhering to these guidelines will help you to adopt the correct mental attitude – and you will be less likely to fall asleep.
When you first start, it can be hard to ignore the noise around you. You are in a very sensitive state when you meditate, so loud noises and interruptions can jar the nerves. So ask family and friends not to disturb you, take the phone of the hook and shut the door. In order to meditate effectively you need to be relaxed. Most people carry far more tension than they realise, both in the body and in the mind. Until you are able to release this tension, it is harder to enter a condition of stillness. There are many relaxation meditations available on the internet, or you can just focus on your breathing.

You are now ready to begin a journey of self discovery.

If you would like to find out more about the benefits to the body meditation has read my previous post on Meditation here.

If you still find it hard to meditate, and would like to release your everyday tension, please contact me, I can work with you using Energy Healing to help you relax so your mind, body and spirit can work together, the result will be a balance of thought, awareness and well-being. It is in this state that healing of other illness can occur on multiple levels. Meditation can also help balance our seven chakras.
Please contact me to find out more information on meditation or to book a session.